Wednesday, December 11, 2019

In the News: PISA and Estonia

Image result for estonia

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) measures 15-year-olds' ability to use their reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life situations and challenges. It is administered by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

The 2018 results have been released and here I focus on one nation's performance: Estonia. Compared to other European countries it is tops in reading, maths, and science and also the highest placed European country overall when aggregate scores are compared. Here are some of the details from EER News, Estonia Public Broadcasting.

The 2018 results--we love races way too much when it comes to education--can be seen there with the scores of all participating nations, including the United States, ranked by reading scores. The east still dominates (the top four places are held by China and Singapore). There is a study summary in 5-bullets.

I'd never heard anything about Estonian education until yesterday when I watched a BBC video titled Why Do Estonian Children Start School at Seven?  I was informed today that this video is no longer available at this location but was told to try later. So please try. It is a lovely and important video on early childhood education. I just found it on Facebook and while the screen is smaller it provides a good idea of how Estonian educators think about young children and their learning. It is about 2 minutes long and worth several minutes more.

I also add a much longer video on Estonian education. With visuals in the background an Estonian professor (Tallinn University) does a very nice job of describing the entire system. It is longer than I usually post (~18 minutes). This video, shorter (~3 minutes) shows children in a variety of grade levels and how multimedia are used.  And finally, I can't resist this playful video--Why Estonians are So Smart. I think it will make you smile while also providing information on Estonian schools.

I needed a geography refresher. Here is the Wiki entry on Estonia with a map.

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