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Education Worldwide

Asian Countries Outperform in PISA Survey 2012

The 2012 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that Shanghai as well as Singapore were top performers in mathematics. Students in Shanghai scored the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling above most OECD countries. Hong Kong, Taipei, Korea, Macao, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands were in the top-performing group, too.

According to the survey, the top-performing Asian countries place great emphasis on selecting and training teachers, encourage collaboration among them and give more weight to investment in teacher quality versus classroom sizes. They also set clear targets and give teachers autonomy in the classroom to achieve them. Children whose parents have high expectations perform better: they tend to try harder, have more confidence in their own ability and are more motivated to learn.

However, the 2012 reveals a large gender gap. In 37 out of 65 countries, boys outperform girls in mathematics. Girls feel less motivated and confident when it comes to mathematics. More strikingly, girls outperform boys in reading performance in virtually all countries. Between 2000 and 2012, the gender gap in reading has even widened in 11 countries.

In terms of reading, of the 64 countries and economies with comparable data up to 2012, 32 improved their reading performance, 22 show no change, and 10 deteriorated. Chile, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey improved their reading performance across successive assessments.

Across OECD countries, 8.4 percent of students are top performers in reading. Shanghai has the largest proportion of top performers with 25 percent. More than 15 percent of students in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are top performers in reading, as are more than 10 percent of students in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Korea, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway and Chinese Taipei.

Interactive graphic:

This year's PISA measured the knowledge and skills of the world's 15-year-olds with regard to mathematics, reading and science, with the main focus on mathematics in 2012. Roughly 510,000 students from 65 countries took the test.

The PISA was launched in 1997 as a commitment by the OECD member countries to monitor the outcomes of the educational system of each participating country within a common framework. The assessment tries to identify how well the education system and its stakeholders such as parents, teachers, governments and institutions prepare students for real-life situations.

The assessment takes place every three years with the main focus alternating each cycle. Students are asked to complete a two hour paper-and-pencil test and, in some countries, an additional computer-based assessment of mathematics and reading that lasts 40 minutes.

More information: PISA 2012 Key findings

(Image source and interactive graphic: OECD (2013), Compare Your Country (Interactive Graphic)– PISA 2012, PISA, OECD Publishing. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results.htm)




Asian Countries Outpe..