Monday, 11 July 2011

PISA Under Examination: Bob Cowan's Response to Hannu Simola's Keynote Speech

Professor Bob Cowan gave an interesting response to Professor Hannu Simola's keynote speech.

Here are the notes:
  • UK -- testing makes school/education more efficient -- a myth!
  • Hannu Simola demystified the Finnish system
  • Contingency -- things we didn't expect, predict; coincidence, accidental happenings, inserted into the historically complex comparative education. A major cause of freedom is accidents, as implied in Simola's paper
  • two dimensions of contingency: accident and freedom
  • add in convergence, politics
  • skeptical about transfer
Accidents can play an important role:
  • "Only good teams are lucky" -- Finnish ice hockey coach
  • this was not planned
  • Vanhanen -- IQ testing -- Finland scores higher in PISA than IQ tests would indicate
  • Civil War - Reds thought they would get teacher support, but very low

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