We thought you might find these excerpts from two scholarly papers on PISA interesting. Clare
Professor Gemma Moss and colleagues, London Institute of Education
Some features of [high PISA performing] education systems are not suitable for borrowing; for instance, pupils in Korea and Japan also spend substantially more time being privately tutored outside of school hours. This would not be acceptable to parents in the UK. Education systems are deeply linked to local political as well as educational cultures. No one would want to import an authoritarian one-party system of government from China, yet that may be a key ingredient in how their education system runs. [Further] it is not clear whether or how performance in PISA relates to the economy. China’s economic growth has not been driven by uniform access to high quality education; rather high quality education in Shanghai has followed economic growth. Britain remains amongst the top-performing economies, out-performing our PISA rankings in education.
(Excerpt from a brief for UK politicians)
Professor Paul Morris, London Institute of Education (formerly Dean of Education, Hong Kong University, and President, Hong Kong Institute of Education)
[In Hong Kong] reforms have been both developed and implemented over long time periods [and] the direction of reform has been developed through fairly nonpartisan discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including school principals, local and overseas academics, and draws upon a range of sources of evidence…. [Further] in Hong Kong the good Math’s results in PISA 2012 have been attributed by their Government to teachers using ‘project work and exploratory activities’ and the good science results to the promotion of ‘scientific literacy and generic skills (e.g. critical thinking and problem-solving skills)’. Not exactly an endorsement of [UK Education Secretary] Gove’s direction of travel!
(Excerpt from: PISA 2012: What can we learn from East Asia?)