Tuesday, 24 August 2010

PISA Under Examination: Clara Morgan's Keynote Speech

Clara Morgan gave a speech entitled "The OECD's PISA: Unravelling a Knowledge Network"

The notes are as follows:

This gives a public policy and political science perspective on the matter.

  • intelligence testing
  • international testing
  • PISA in the Canadian context
  • PISA in the knowledge network
  • analysis of education in the international context
  • transnational governance - a web of transnational networks - operating at different scales
  • "scientization" takes out politics
  • political interests
  • circulation of ideas
  • PISA - active implementation on all levels, e.g. ideas of how schools should be run, boomerang pattern of networks
Rise of Education at the OECD
  • 1990s - central to OECD work
  • renewed interest in human capital theory - the necessary skills to compete in society
  • 2002 - Directorate of Education
  • educational governance - neo-liberal policies, e.g. competition, parental choice, testing (high-stakes)
  • American influence - focus on the indicators of quality of education, e.g. A Nation at Risk, wanted a comparison with similar economies
  • link with adult literacy and human capital, e.g. Statistics Canada and ETS adopted by PISA
  • creation of PISA
  • OECD replaced UNESCO and IEA as leader of education
  • 1995 - Lahti, Finland - "strategy of student achievement analysis"
Constructing the PISA Knowledge Network
  • PISA an exclusive network, e.g. OECD - exclusive economies, educational experts and researchers, governing board and policy makers
  • 1990s trend towards large scale assessments
  • cultural bias
  • OECD needed to get educational expertise: tendering process with Borgogne, ACER, and IEA. ACER won, turned into International Consortium
  • PISA creators - advocating a different outcome of education, but not prescribing what to teach
Governing Education Through PISA
  • PISA infrastructure - administration, analysis, and dissemination of results
  • Media coverage - "naming and shaming"
  • "naming and shaming" - rankings, league tables
  • results inform OECD reports
  • domestic policy influence
Canadian Context
  • Federal government - little control over compulsory education
  • Federal interest - learning, development skills for a knowledge-based economy, transition from school to work supports PISA, not IEA tests
  • Provincial interest - performance of compulsory education systems, curricular outcomes
Student Achievement Testing in Canada
  • Provinces/Territories
  • National - SAIP, PCAP
  • International - PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS
  • international benchmarking
  • linkages across assessments - promise of improving provincial assessments
  • international tests cannot capture the complexities of learning
  • PISA - reinforces a scientific and technical approach to politics of education
  • grown to inform educational policy
  • has stopped public debate use international testing as a basis for education policy
  • democratic vision of school can come from the ordinary

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