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ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education “Enchanted December” PISA Achievements and Retention of Children in Kindergarten.

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Presentation on theme: "ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education “Enchanted December” PISA Achievements and Retention of Children in Kindergarten."— Presentation transcript:

1 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education “Enchanted December” PISA Achievements and Retention of Children in Kindergarten in Israel Joel Rapp, PhD Accession Seminar for Israel OECD/Ministry of Education November 2011 Caesarea, Israel

2 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education PISA in Israel Israel has participated in PISA since 2002 (PISA+), including in 2006 and in 2009, and it will also participate in students participated in the 2009 study. These students constituted a representative sample of 15-year-old students in Israel (with the exception of ultra-orthodox boys).

3 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education The PISA study focuses on the evaluation of 15- year-old students regardless of the study program they follow, or the structure and stages of the country's education system, or the current school grade in which they study. In most participating countries, most of the PISA students are in the 10 th grade at the time PISA is carried out. Among the rest, the majority are 9 th grade students, mainly due to grade repetition. This design allows the study of the effect of an extra year of schooling on PISA achievements. Characteristics of PISA Target Population

4 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education As a rule, a class repetition mechanism does not exist in Israel. However, about 17% of Israeli 15-year-olds are in the 9 th grade, instead of the 10 th, where they ought to be. Since these students did not repeat a class, this relatively large proportion of 9 th graders requires an explanation. PISA 9 th and 10 th Graders in Israel

5 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Analysis of the Israeli PISA 2009 data suggests that most of the PISA 9 th graders were retained another year at the compulsory kindergarten/pre- elementary school stage, thus starting school at the age of seven instead of six. This mechanism differs from grade repetition in that it represents an attempt to predict performance rather than being a decision-making process based on actual performance. Kindergarten Retention in Israel (1)

6 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education The official reason for kindergarten retention is lack of “school readiness” (cognitively, emotionally, socially, or physically), and the belief that sending children who are not ready to school at the age of six might put their chances of success in school at risk. In Israel, this decision is made by the child’s parents, together with the kindergarten teacher, and is supported by an educational psychologist. It is later approved by the authorities. Kindergarten Retention in Israel (2)

7 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education “School readiness” is an important concept among educational psychologists, mainly in the context of decision making for school entry. A great deal of debate has been waged over the theoretical basis of “school readiness” and consequent methods of measurement. The large proportion of “kindergarten delayed” students in Israel suggests that kindergarten retention is in fashion and has become popular during the past two to three decades. The “School Readiness” Concept

8 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education The current work deals with kindergarten-delayed students in the Israeli education system. That is, 15- year-old students who, at the time of PISA 2009, were studying in the 9 th grade. It focuses on the following issues: 1.Who are these students and what are their characteristics? 2.How well did they achieve in PISA, compared to their counterparts in the 10 th grade? 3.How are these achievements related to the age of the student? Aim of the Current Work

9 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Kindergarten retention is more common among native Hebrew-speaking students, compared to Arabic-speaking students: 17% compared to 7%. Therefore, the presented data will concentrate mainly on native Hebrew-speaking students. In general, it is more prevalent among: 1.Boys (21%, compared to 13% among girls). 2.Students with lower ESCS (23%, compared to 15% of higher ESCS). 3.SEN students. 4.Younger students. Characteristics of Kindergarten-delayed Students in Israel

10 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Kindergarten Retention and Age of Student Hebrew Speaking Arabic Speaking In both sectors, the younger the students are, the higher the proportion of 9 th graders is. This proportion is greater in the Hebrew-speaking sector indicating that kindergarten retention is more common within this sector.

11 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education PISA Achievements as a Function of Age (Birth Month) and Grade in the Hebrew-Speaking Sector ReadingMath Main results: 1. With regard to 9 th graders, the younger the students are, the higher the average score is. 2. With regard to 10 th graders, the scores are relatively independent of the birth month. 3. Achievements of December-born students are higher in both the 9 th and 10 th grades.

12 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Summary and Conclusions (1) The younger the students, the higher their PISA scores (especially in the 9 th grade). However, in both the 9 th and 10 th grade, December- born students received the highest scores among their counterparts who were born in the same year. Is December an “enchanted month”? Are December-born children more talented?

13 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Summary and Conclusions (2) The “enchanted December” phenomenon reflects a statistical artifact caused by different selective processes for younger and older students: 1.Younger students (born Sept.-Dec.) are generally delayed due to their young age per se, and this is quite a common choice in Israel. 2.Older students (born Jan.-Aug.) are rarely delayed. However, if they are, this is due to reasons that are unrelated to age (and probably related to cognitive or/and emotional difficulties).

14 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Summary and Conclusions (3) Therefore: 1.Young students who enter 1 st grade at the age of six are somewhat exceptional and were probably viewed as being cognitively and/or emotionally advanced. 2.Then again, the older students who enter 1 st grade at the age of seven are more likely to experience learning difficulties or SEN in the course of their school studies, and score lower in academic achievement later. As a result, their younger “normative” counterparts, who tend to have fewer learning difficulties, might score higher than them.

15 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education Summary and Conclusions (4) The data presented indicate that decisions related to kindergarten retention (either to delay or not to delay), quite accurately predict achievements, learning difficulties or special abilities that are manifested ten years later. The data collected in PISA have the potential to assist policy makers in the consideration, and perhaps the redesigning, of their policy regarding retention in kindergarten (with the possible inclusion of economic considerations). If the authorities approve the actual situation (despite the economic costs involved), it should be adopted in the Arab sector as well.

16 ראמ " ה The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education The End Thank You! Questions?


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