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The rapid expansion of national participation in international achievement studies has been a hallmark of educational accountability and planning in countries around the…
The rapid expansion of national participation in international achievement studies has been a hallmark of educational accountability and planning in countries around the world for the past 25 years. Since the IEA's first international studies on mathematics and science achievement in the late 1960s, the availability and use of international achievement studies for national education policy has exploded (DeBoer, “Why the Fireworks?: Theoretical Perspectives on the Explosion in International Assessments”; Smith & Baker, 2001; Wiseman & Baker, 2005). The most widely adopted studies are now administered on regular cycles and include participating countries from every region and level of development around the world.
The chapter discusses the introduction of standardized tests as they move education system from equity of access to quality of instruction and learning. The aim of the…
The chapter discusses the introduction of standardized tests as they move education system from equity of access to quality of instruction and learning. The aim of the chapter is to analyze the role of international education projects like PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS in shaping national education policies and in helping them to tackle such issues as limited access to education, corruption, illegal practices, quality manipulations in academia, and achievement gaps. The main method used is cross-national comparative analysis. The theoretical scope of the chapter covers major scholarly works on international testing, achievement gaps, and corruption in education. The research finds that the arrows of influence operate in both directions, implying that while setting global standards, international projects base their judgments on identified local challenges in education systems of individual countries. Besides, internationalization of standards has spillover effects on curbing corruption and illegal actions that often cause widening of achievement gaps. The findings of the research could be used in designing education policies both on national and international levels to make education systems more transparent and comparable to international standards. The chapter sets forth a novel idea that the international projects like PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS could serve not only as means of setting and checking quality standards in education, but as mediators in closing achievement gaps and even curbing corruption. This novelty presents a value to the local education policymakers, and more importantly, to the public.
There has been a notable growth in the number, participants, and frequency of international assessments of student academic performance over the past 50 years. This…
There has been a notable growth in the number, participants, and frequency of international assessments of student academic performance over the past 50 years. This chapter provides a structure for the perspectives that could be used to analyze this rise. This chapter highlights case study examples of specific countries' choices to participate in particular assessments. It further describes the utility of three analytic frameworks in understanding the decision factors, diffusion mechanisms, and environmental dynamics that relate to international testing. Factors such as the cost of testing, the cultural connections between nations participating, and the temporal relevance of testing to today's focus on accountability arise in illustrations of the transmission mechanism for international achievement tests. This chapter organizes large and diverse amounts of important testing sampling frame information in a unique way. The questions we ask are driven by the framework we begin analyzing with. Organizations conducting these tests can better understand the touchpoints for nations deciding whether or not to participate. Concerns about developing country participation, for example, can be better addressed.
This chapter discusses some of the criticisms of standardized assessments by doing a document analysis of mainly Mexico's and Argentina's ministries of education's web…
This chapter discusses some of the criticisms of standardized assessments by doing a document analysis of mainly Mexico's and Argentina's ministries of education's web sites and exploring the theoretical work of diverse authors, mainly critical pedagogues and culturalists. This chapter argues that the process of assessment using standardized tests is a highly political and even commercial process, but the challenge to compete globally, still perform locally, collaborate in solidarity, and decide collectively whose knowledge is of most worth is still before us. As exemplified in Mexico's test ENLACE, standardized tests tend to show a negative bias against minorities and tendency to highlight certain values and knowledge. Countries should seek for as many partnership opportunities with teachers and communities to be able to assess learning collectively and even consider not adopting policies passively, as opposed to having an international organization or policy dictating what is worth knowing and testing. This way, assessment will still help countries compete globally, still perform locally, and collaborate in solidarity.
The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the educational impact of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on South Korea, focusing on the…
The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the educational impact of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on South Korea, focusing on the global implementation of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). By analyzing how the system of reasoning embedded in the OECD and PISA has re-territorialized the education space of South Korea, this chapter problematizes present-day OECD educational policy as a new global education norm, and its way of making educational truths. This chapter specifically discusses the changes in South Korean education policy, national curriculum, and examination system in terms of reference reasoning, politics of knowledge, and regime of testing. The chapter further discusses that the impact of the OECD in a global space is not unidirectional; rather, it is a multi-directional phenomenon occurring in both individual country and the global governance that the OECD created.
The development of a knowledge society in the Arabian Gulf is a nested and contextualized process that relies upon the development of nation-specific knowledge economies…
The development of a knowledge society in the Arabian Gulf is a nested and contextualized process that relies upon the development of nation-specific knowledge economies and region-wide knowledge cultures. The role of internationally comparative education data and mass education systems in the Gulf as mechanisms for the development of knowledge economies, societies, and cultures are discussed and debated in relation to the unique contextual conditions countries operate within. The role of “big” data and mass education in creating expectations for achievement, accountability, and access is shown to significantly contribute to the development of knowledge societies by providing the infrastructure and capacity for sustainable change, which potentially leads to the institutionalization of knowledge acquisition, exchange, and creation in the Gulf and beyond.
A thematic analysis of teachers’ experiences in implementing the Annual National Assessments (ANAs) policy in South Africa was presented in this chapter. Describing the…
A thematic analysis of teachers’ experiences in implementing the Annual National Assessments (ANAs) policy in South Africa was presented in this chapter. Describing the lack of preparation and capacity building on behalf of policy makers, this chapter argued that teachers’ roles in the policy formulation of the ANAs positioned them as only policy implementers without agency. Two broad categories described the experiences. The first was concerned with the preparation process of assessments. The second was concerned with the implications of assessments, outlining the worry and fear in the use of results for teacher blaming culminating in a standoff between teacher unions and the ministry. The shift in the policy mandate expressed through increased reporting and monitoring requirements for poor performing schools reveals that the assessments deviated from being a diagnostic tool to testing for teacher accountability. Finally, the chapter concluded with a reflection on how the National Assessment Framework, set to replace the ANA policy, could be strengthened based on the opportunities revealed by the ANA policy implementation process.
This article put forward two claims. First, it argues that, historically, the rationale for education has shifted from religious and national indoctrination to, in the…
This article put forward two claims. First, it argues that, historically, the rationale for education has shifted from religious and national indoctrination to, in the more recent neoliberal period, human capital and the related notion of individual empowerment. Second, the article argues that the recent shift toward individual empowerment is reflected in international organizations’ (IOs) changing emphases in education. IOs’ educational agenda has undergone various changes since their early work in the 1960s: From the structural expansion of national education systems to the measurement of individual educational achievement through a focus on competencies and, most recently, individual psychosocial development.
Based on a content analysis of 60 documents from 38 IOs involved in international education networks between 1990 and 2015, this work identified an expanding field of IOs directing attention to the mental capabilities of a learner. The proliferated model of an individual actorhood reflected in these novel assessment designs will be presented and embedded in wider discussions about the cultural construction of the individual in contemporary world polity.
This chapter discusses the influence of international educational studies on knowledge in a general sense. In a theoretical framework, a split between realistic and…
This chapter discusses the influence of international educational studies on knowledge in a general sense. In a theoretical framework, a split between realistic and constructivist theories of knowledge with special regards to global and local knowledge is discussed.
Since Slovenia is a country that is included in a number of different international comparative educational studies and assessments, even more so, it has been participating in these studies continually for the last two decades, the focus is on Slovenian educational policymaking (PM). The chapter for the first time analyzes the impacts on national PM of different international studies and predicts the future Slovenian participation in these studies; therefore, the chapter could be interesting for national and international audiences involved in comparative education research. For the estimation of existing impacts on national PM, semi-structured interviews were used. The findings suggest that international results represent an argumentation for some directly and indirectly curricular and syllabus changes over the years. Furthermore, some of the argumentations for changing the national educational system regarding the international findings are still more declarative; irrespective of experts and policymakers estimations of how great impacts these studies have in Slovenia. Future research on the topic for Slovenian PM in education will need more secondary analysis of collected data from both national and international assessments.