Volume 117, Number 1, 2015
Two key uses of international assessments of achievement have been (a) comparing country performances for identifying the countries with the best education systems and (b) generating insights about effective policy and practice strategies that are associated with higher learning outcomes.
A main goal of this themed issue of Teachers College Record (TCR) is to move the conversation about PISA data beyond achievement to also include factors that affect achievement (e.g., SES, home environment, strategy use). Also we asked authors to consider how international assessment data can be used for improving learning and education and what appropriate versus inappropriate inferences can be made from the data.
Because metacognitive knowledge includes knowledge about adequate learning strategies, and an effective use of learning strategies is associated with higher levels of performance, substantial relationships can be assumed between metacognitive knowledge, strategic behavior, and performance. The discussion considers the validity of metacognition indicators (knowledge and strategy use) and practical implications of the findings.
This study examined whether microeconomic mechanisms can explain family and school inequalities and their relationships to studentsí mathematics achievement. Multilevel analyses of 2009 PISA data from 475,760 fifteen-year-olds in 65 countries showed that students had lower mathematics achievement in countries with greater family inequality or school inequalities (of educational materials, teacher quality, or rich vs. poor schoolmates).
The authors of this study examined how attitudes toward reading mediated the relationships between Korean adolescentsí reading environments and reading behaviors, using a nationally representative sample from the PISA 2009 database. Gender, home literacy resources, parentsí reading attitude, and parental support for reading were all significant predictors of Korean adolescentsí reading attitude.
The authors of this article investigate the relationship between illustration complexity and the difficulty of PISA 2009 science items in the United States, Mexico, and China. They discuss the implications of their findings for systematically developing PISA science illustrated items.
This article discusses four facets of the PISA program: (a) the issue of the comparability of the cognitions elicited by items across national and linguistic cultures, (b) the association of PISA with economic outcomes for nations, (c) the search in PISA data for universally applicable instructional techniques, and (d) the differences in cross-national attitudes toward the PISA subjects and how those affect test scores.
The exploratory study presented in this article seeks to contribute to knowledge about test design and construction by focusing on the gap between context characteristics and student performance. The authors address two key questions: What are the characteristics of contexts used in the PISA science items? And what are the relationships between different context characteristics and student performance?
The author of this commentary reviews and provides comments on the six articles that comprise this special issue on research conducted using PISA data.
There are no Off The Record or Editorials for this issue