Monday, 11 July 2011

PISA Under Examination: Daniel Trohler's Keynote Speech

Daniel Trohler gave a keynote speech entitled, "Concepts, cultures, and comparisons: PISA and the German discontents."

The notes are as follows:

2002, the University of Heidelberg, Uni Spiegel: Lecture series: Are we still the educational elite?
  • in response to PISA
  • "are we still the people of poets and thinkers?"
  • PISA a cultural crisis
  • no country reacted the same
  • created a market for PISA
Caused by a clash of two different traditions.

Five steps:
  1. Bildung: competence, knowledge
  2. clash of cultures
  3. educational "system"
  4. real world and challenges
  5. double discontent
Germans are either pro- or anti-PISA
  • in defense -- cite concept of Bildung
  • distinction between useful/useless knowledge
PISA -- no measurement of curriculum in the English language , but in German "ability" translates to Grundbildung, or foundation, knowledge.

Grundbildung translates as literacy, but also as competence.

Married/connected concepts of Bildung, or the aim of knowledge, and Kompetenz.

This contrasts with knowledge, or Wissen.
  • There was much discussion in Germany about these relationships
  • inward Bildung vs. adjustment to the outer world
  • Bildung -- "purposeless" knowledge not codifiable
  • PISA -- value for money, ideology's cancer
The clash of cultures
  • American pragmatism
  • beginning of discussion in Europe
  • "despicable utilitarianism"
  • the clash between gentleman and Personlichkeit
  • Bildung, or "masters of life" e.g. Humboldt, Goethe, "is unmeasurable"
The educational "system", its engineers and cognition psychology
  • Sputnik
  • education in the Cold War: emphasis on mathematics, science, foreign languages
  • development of human capital theory
Something about the real world and its challenges: What exactly does PISA assess?
  • performance of students
  • basic competencies of the next generation
  • students' literacy skills
  • the educational system
The inner and outer harmony and the double discontent:
  • concept of "one world"
  • USA - development of industrial and scientific techniques
  • PISA - not a specific cultural context: neglecting real-life situations and ignoring cultural competencies
  • e.g. Germany: harmonious inner Personlichkeit vs. PISA: harmonious one world
  • "inward Bildung" - Lutheranism
  • "one world" - Calvanism
  • questioning Bildung questions German national character
  • German PISA -- less concerned with international standing, but the differences in German performance
  • failure in integrating

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