Creator of PISA test gives lecture


Andreas Schleicher

ANDREAS Schleicher, creator of PISA, an exam that compares knowledge of 15-year-olds from around the world, was invited by Cui Yonghao, head of the ECNU Institute of Curriculum & Instruction, to visit the campus and lecture student body and teacher faculty on November 24. Schleicher’s lecture themed PSIA Data Can Help Us Run a Better School was held in the Yifu Building at Zhongbei campus.

Schleicher is the Division Head and coordinator of the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the OECD Indicators of Education Systems program (INES).

Jia Wei, vice director of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission; Zhu Weiguo, vice head of the Jiangsu Provincial Education Department; and Han Ping, Zhu's counterpart from Zhejiang Province, each attended the lecture and exchanged opinions about Chinese education with the guest speaker.

A German-born statistician and researcher in the field of education, Schleicher led more than 250 Chinese educators in the room through PISA, a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.

More than 50,000 people across the world tuned in live to hear his lecture via online stream.

Andreas Schleicher gives a lecture at ECNU.

The speaker cited data from PISA 2015, which proved that the results of the test were dependable and reliable for academic research. In 2015, over half a million students, representing 28 million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies, took the two-hour examination. With its main focus was on science, an increasingly important part of our economic and social lives, the PISA is internationally recognized as a model for testing the knowledge of adolescents.

Schleicher expounded that in an information age students must be literate in science to a certain extent, including scientific competencies, knowledge of science, attitudes towards science and proficiency level. He analyzed the main strengths and weaknesses of boys and girls in areas of science and measured the gap between distinguished male and female students according to their performances on PISA 2015.

In comparison to expectations from a variety of occupations in the scientific field, the researcher said the data indicated that high scorers – consisting of students from all countries of the world – would not necessarily take a job directly related to science due to engaging with it for so many years in the universities; they are increasingly vulnerable to apathy towards science in the future.

Moreover, he stressed that in addition to improving students' overall learning capabilities, the collaborative problem solving (CPS) capability is conducive to upgrading students' performance in reading, math and science.

The audience interact with Schleicher.

Chines students achieved a satisfactory performance rating on the 2015 PISA, reportedly accentuated to teacher-to-teacher, student-to-student and teacher-to-student cooperation, in particular the popular model of demonstration classes and teacher evaluation throughout the Chinese education system which has optimally improved specialization of teachers.

Schleicher praised China's unremitting efforts in implementing curriculum-based research: incorporating teaching and systematic research with Chinese characteristics, the country's plan towards improving the quality of rural teachers and its task to level the playing field for education.

Schleicher takes a group photo with experts and scholars.

In view of insufficient CPS capability among a portion of Chinese student, he did not hesitate to mention the challenges faced by Chinese educators for the future. He expressed high hopes for China's plans for education assessment and teacher cultivation.

In the future, the role of an education minister in making policies that will determine every student's fate will fade and must concede to that of teachers, students, principals and education researchers, he elaborated to the audience.

In the afternoon session, Prof. Cui Yonghao along with a team of education officials from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces and Shanghai also delivered their own speeches to the audience. 


East China Normal University