Monday, 11 July 2011

PISA Under Examination: Julio Carabana's Keynote Speech

Julio Carabana gave a keynote speech called, "Why do the results of immigrant students depend so much on their country of origin?"

The notes from the speech are as follows:

Before PISA:
  • various studies concerning immigrant students, e.g. Sharit (1990) Israeli differences: Sephardic, Ashkenazi, Arabs
After PISA:
  • more data, e.g. country of origin, first or second generation, parental education, age at immigration, language spoken at home
  • e.g. Belgium: differences among Flemish/French-speaking groups, the differences among the groups depending on country of origin and school language
  • e.g. New Zealand: also differences related to country of origin
  • PISA allows us to see data of students of the same country of origin in different educattion systems, e.g. Turks in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, e.g. former Yugloslavians in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg. --> These immigrants had similar performances in PISA in the different countries
  • PISA 2003: e.g. Chinese in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, e.g. Italians in Italy, Luxembourg, e.g. Hispanics in the USA and Latin America
  • PISA 2006: e.g. Koreans in New Zealand and Australia
  • PISA 2006: Turkish immigrants in Austria and Denmark score lower than Turks in Turkey
  • has very little impact on students' scores
  • score similarly to their country of origin
  • not much convergence
  • often worse scores in "destination" country for Turkey, Spain, and Italy
How do we explain this?


What do some immigrants take from their home country to the "destination country"?
  • long-lasting effect
  • something lasting, resilient, pervasive, and powerful
Things they are not:
  • home conditions e.g. wealth
  • social, political, economic conditions in the home country
  • schools in either country
  • status of families: socio-economic or cultural
Something cultural:
  • e.g. Confucianism (Asia), Fatalism (Muslims), Protestant/Catholic
  • which moral tradition is so pervasive and powerful that it (almost) completely neutralizes the influence of new countries?
  • keep in mind immigrants want to succeed more than "natives"
  • non-religious influences succeed most e.g. China, India
  • Flynn effect: IQ changes over time
  • cognitive ability is resilient: differences of cognitive ability of different groups (controversial). This hypothesis has dangers (moral, political, personal)
  • Australian immigrants out-perform their cousins (e.g. Chinese)

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