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Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 21 st World Congress on Reading, 7-10 August 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 21 st World Congress on Reading, 7-10 August 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 21 st World Congress on Reading, 7-10 August 2006 Andreas Schleicher Head, Indicators and Analysis Division OECD Directorate for Education

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3 In the dark… …all students, schools and education systems look the same… But with a little light….

4 But with a little light…. …important differences become apparent…. In the dark… …all students, schools and education systems look the same…

5 High-level qualifications Approximated by the percentage of persons with ISCED 5A/6 qualfication in the age groups 55-64, 45-55, und years (2003)

6 Overview

7 Why literacy matters Literacy and the knowledge economy

8 Who will be safe from outsourcing, digitalisation and automatisation? r The great synthesisers Conventionally, our approach to problems was breaking them down into manageable bits and pieces, today we create value by synthesising disparate bits together r The great explainers The more content we can search and access, the more important the filters and explainers become r The great collaborators and orchestrators The more complex the globalised world becomes, the more individuals and companies need various forms of co-ordination and management

9 Who will be safe from outsourcing, digitalisation and automatisation? r The great versatilists Specialists generally have deep skills and narrow scope, giving them expertise that is recognised by peers but not valued outside their domain Generalists have broad scope but shallow skills Versatilists apply depth of skill to a progressively widening scope of situations and experiences, gaining new competencies, building relationships, and assuming new roles. They are capable not only of constantly adapting but also of constantly learning and growing r The great personalisers A revival of interpersonal skills, skills that have atrhophied to some degree because of the industrial age and the Internet r The great localisers Localising the global

10 Why literacy skills matter r Reading is the currency in the knowledge society Just as those with little money have difficulty meeting their basic needs, those with limited literacy are likely to find it more challenging to pursue their goals Like most currencies, reading literacy has been subject to inflation over the years r Despite the rapid growth in the supply of qualifications, demand grows even faster Such that the earnings and employment gap continues to grow

11 Why literacy skills matter r Approximately three quarters of adults with the lowest level of reading literacy in IALS were either not working or, if working, in relatively low-paying jobs (in the bottom 40% of wage earners) r Adults in the two lowest reading literacy levels were typically twice as likely to be unemployed as those in the highest three levels r Lower skills place individuals at higher risks of dependency and also influence civic, community and political behaviour

12 Where we are - and where we can be What PISA shows students can do Examples of the best performing countries

13 PISA country participation Key features of PISA 2003 Information collected volume of the tests 6½ hours of assessment material each student 2 hours on paper-and-pencil tasks (subset of all questions) ½ hour for questionnaire on background, learning habits, learning environment, engagement and motivation school principals questionnaire (school demography, learning environment quality ) Coverage PISA covers roughly nine tens of the world economy In Iceland all 15-year-olds in school took part, in other countries representative samples of between 3,500 and 50,000 students OECD partner countries participating from PISA 2006 OECD partner countries participating from PISA 2003 OECD partner countries participating from PISA 2000 OECD countries participating from PISA from 2003 OECD countries participating from PISA 2000

14 Average performance of 15-year-olds in reading literacy High reading performance Low reading performance

15 Average performance of 15-year-olds in reading literacy Low average performance Large socio-economic disparities High average performance Large socio-economic disparities Low average performance High social equity High average performance High social equity Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High reading performance Low reading performance

16 Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik Low average performance Large socio-economic disparities High average performance Large socio-economic disparities Low average performance High social equity High average performance High social equity Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High reading performance Low reading performance

17 Student performance School performance and schools socio- economic background - Hungary Advantage PISA Index of social background Disadvantage Figure 4.13 School proportional to size Student performance and student SES Student performance and student SES within schools School performance and school SES

18 Student performance School performance and schools socio- economic background - Hungary Advantage PISA Index of social background Disadvantage Figure 4.13 School proportional to size Student performance and student SES Student performance and student SES within schools School performance and school SES

19 Student performance School performance and schools socio- economic background - Hungary Advantage PISA Index of social background Disadvantage Figure 4.13 School proportional to size Student performance and student SES Student performance and student SES within schools School performance and school SES OECD

20 Student performance School performance and schools socio- economic background - Hungary Advantage PISA Index of social background Disadvantage Figure 4.13 School proportional to size Student performance and student SES Student performance and student SES within schools School performance and school SES OECD

21 Student performance School performance and schools socio- economic background - Finland Advantage PISA Index of social background Disadvantage Figure 4.13 Student performance and student SES Student performance and student SES within schools School performance and school SES School proportional to size

22 Is it all innate ability? Variation in student performance (mathematical literacy) OECD (2004), Learning for tomorrows world: First results from PISA 2003, Table 4.1a, p

23 Variation of performance between schools Variation of performance within schools Is it all innate ability? Variation in student performance (mathematical literacy) OECD (2004), Learning for tomorrows world: First results from PISA 2003, Table 4.1a, p.383. In some countries, parents can rely on high and consistent standards across schools In Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden average student performance is high… …and largely unrelated to the individual schools in which students are enrolled. In other countries, large performance differences among schools persist In Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Turkey, most of the performance variation among schools lies between schools… …and in some of these countries, most notably those that are highly stratified, a large part of that variation is explained by socio-economic inequalities in learning opportunities

24 How can we get there? Levers for policy that emerge from international comparisons

25 High ambitions and clear standards Access to best practice and quality professional development r Sympathy doesnt raise standards – aspiration does PISA suggests that students and schools perform better in a climate characterised by high expectations and the readiness to invest effort, the enjoyment of learning, a strong disciplinary climate, and good teacher-student relations –Among these aspects, students perception of teacher-student relations and classroom disciplinary climate display the strongest relationships

26 Reading in competition with professionals More people can identify the golden arches of McDonalds than the Christian Cross (Sponsor Research International) Every girl knows Barbie Every boy knows Nintendo

27 The role of books and engagement with reading r Results from PISA show… Students from advantaged backgrounds… …have a greater chance of coming to school more engaged in reading and entering into a virtuous circle of increasing reading interest and improved reading performance …but not all engaged students come from privileged homes… …and those from more modest backgrounds who read regularly and feel positive about it are better readers than students with home advantages and weaker reading engagement Schools can make a significant difference to bring students into the virtuous circle –Seeking mutual reinforcement of cognitive skills and motivation, particularly for boys

28 Access to books at home Low Performance High Performance OECD average performance of students who have 10 or fewer books at home Performance of students with 11 – 50 books at home Performance of students with 51 – 100 books at home Performance of students with 101 – 250 books at home OECD average performance of students with more than 250 books And moreover… Cultural capital appears more closely related to student performance than family wealth

29 Low Performance High Performance Public and school libraries OECD average performance of students who never or hardly ever borrow books to read for pleasure from a public library A few times per year About once a month or more.

30 Reading for enjoyment Low Performance High Performance OECD average performance of students who never or hardly ever read for enjoyment 30 minutes or less each day 30 minutes to one hour One hour or more And moreover… Predictive power of reading activities almost equally strong for mathematics and science performance

31 A profile of reading engagement Low Performance High Performance OECD average performance of least diversified readers (22%) (only magazines frequently read) Moderately diversified readers (27%) (Typical materials are magazines or newspapers) Diversified readers in short texts (28%) (Magazines, newspapers, comics and moderate readers of fiction and non-fiction) Diversified readers in long texts (22%) (Magazines, newspapers, demanding texts and books)

32 Some conclusions r Having diverse reading material at home is strongly associated with high overall student performane and engagement in reading, which includes positive attitudes towards reading… …but there is much schools can do to bring students into the virtuous circle of increasing reading interest and student performance r Improvement in literacy performance relies not just on improving student cognitive skills but also on increasing their engagement in reading r Engagement in reading may be an effective policy lever to mediate the impact of social background on performance r The emergence at relatively early ages of, for example, gender differences in reading performance and engagement underline the importance of an early start

33 Challenge and support Weak support Strong support Low challenge High challenge Strong performance Systemic improvement Poor performance Improvements idiosyncratic Conflict Demoralisation Poor performance Stagnation

34 High ambitions Access to best practice and quality professional development Accountability and intervention in inverse proportion to success Devolved responsibility, the school as the centre of action

35 Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik Low average performance Large socio-economic disparities High average performance Large socio-economic disparities Low average performance High social equity High average performance High social equity Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High mathematics performance Low mathematics performance

36 Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High mathematics performance Low mathematics performance School with responsibility for deciding which courses are offered High degree of autonomy Low degree of autonomy

37 Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High mathematics performance Low mathematics performance Early selection and institutional differentiation High degree of stratification Low degree of stratification

38 Strong ambitions Access to best practice and quality professional development Accountability Devolved responsibility, the school as the centre of action Integrated educational opportunities Individualised learning

39 High ambitions Access to best practice and quality professional development Accountability and intervention in inverse proportion to success Individualised learning Devolved responsibility, the school as the centre of action Integrated educational opportunities

40 The past

41 The future The tradition of education systems has been knowledge poor Creating a knowledge-rich profession in which schools and teachers have the capacity to act, the knowledge to do so wisely, and access to effective support systems National prescription Professional judgement Informed professional judgement, the teacher as a knowledge worker Informed prescription Uninformed professional judgement, teachers working in isolation Uninformed prescription, teachers implement curricula

42 Paradigm shifts Prescription Informed profession UniformityEmbracing diversity DemarcationCollaboration Provision Outcomes Bureaucratic – look upDevolved – look outwards Talk equityDeliver equity Hit & miss Universal high standards Received wisdomData and best practice The old bureaucratic education systemThe modern enabling education system

43 Further information –All national and international publications –The complete micro-level database …and remember: Without data, you are just another person with an opinion


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