Monday, 11 July 2011

PISA Under Examination: Petra Stanat's Keynote Speech

Petra Stanat gave a keynote speech entitled, "Conditions of Immigrant Students' Educational Success -- Evidence from PISA."

The notes from the speech:

Preliminary remarks on PISA:
  • neither all good nor all bad
  • has strengths and limitations
  • can answer some questions but is silent on others
  • one piece of the puzzle of evidence-based educational policy and practice
  • strengths and limitations regarding immigrant students
Starting points:
  • issue of immigrants
  • schools a central role in integration
  • immigrant students lag behind others
  • potential of PISA: How successful are immigrant students in school? What determines their achievement?
  • limitations of PISA: What can be done to improve the situation?
Immigrants in Germany:
  • temporary immigrants post-World War II: "guest workers," asylum, refugees -- expected to return home
  • ethnic Germans from USSR and Eastern Europe: granted citizenship
  • no good data on immigration of that time
  • 2000: accepted that Germany is a country of immigrants
  • PISA: 22% of students have an immigrant background, e.g. Turkey, Eastern Europe, other (52%)
How successful are immigrants in school?
  • immigrants not as academically successful: vocational school 44% non-German, Gymnasium 14% non-German
  • tracking patterns? Does it discriminate against immigrants? Differences in achievement -- specifically with German language skills
  • determinants of educational success of immigrants: national/societal level, system level, school type - which track?, community level, school level, classroom level, teacher level, student and family level
What determines immigrant students' success?
  • do students who live and learn in segregated settings achieve less than those in an integrated environment? More influence from students of lower socio-economic status, except Turkish students, especially in schools with over 40% Turkish students
  • reading literacy effects (immigration) biggest influence of another language at home. First vs. Second generation -- improvement in all groups except for students of Turkish or Italian background
What can be done to improve immigrant student achievement?
  • bilingual support: immersion vs. transitional programs. Explicit approach: summer camp settings, focus on form, grammar lessons. Implicit approach: drama lessons. The explicit group performed better, but not in a statistically significant manner.
  • studies like PISA provide important comparative information on the situation of immigrant students
  • data like this can help identify determinants of success at this level
  • immigrants need targeted second-language support
  • interventions should be clearly defined and start early
  • more research is needed

1 comment:

  1. that would be interesting to read