Yesterday EdSurge published this really useful article about how PISA is adapting their international assessments to outline skills that will be needed in the 21st Century. Here’s a quick overview:
First administered in the 2000 to assess the quality of education systems across the world, the PISA(short for ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’) is currently undergoing significant changes.
The test is given to 15-year-olds every three years and originally assessed maths, reading and science. However, the latest iteration in 2015, has branched out to cover collaborative problem solving, social skills, and psychological well-being.
The changes started before the 2012 exam, after the OECD recognised that traditional multiple choice evaluations were not sufficient to prepare students for a 21st century economy. But how to create an alternative with standard but meaningful measures for nearly 80 countries? And how to decide what should be measured?
Andreas Schleicher, Directorate of Education and Skills at the OECD, says:
“We look very carefully at how the world and the skills that people need are changing and then we try to reflect that in our measure.”
Collaborative problem solving (CPS) has been outlined by Schleicher as a crucial skill that is important for our success in society.
After a pilot in 2012, the PISA test included a mandatory CPS section in 2015, which all students took alongside with math, reading and science.
Twig are moving to the PISA drumbeat. Our successful SIP pilot in Malaysia encouraged students and teachers to develop CPS and other higher order thinking skills as seen in the new PISA assessments, and this deeper thinking has also been incorporated in Reach Out PD for Secondary (watch this space). As ever, we want to promote learning in a real-world context, and supporting the development of required skills that are needed in industry today is part of that process.