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International large-scale assessments in education. Preparing for the 21st century

Lecture by Jarkko Juhana Hautamäki, University of Helsinki, Finland

01/03/2016 dalle 18:00 alle 20:00

Dove Sala rossa, Scuola Superiore di Studi umanistici, via Marsala 26

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In the middle of 90’, a re-emergence of large-scale educational assessment took place. The new start was concomitant with the extension of national economies into global ones. In turn, this relates to whether national credentials (diplomas) are valid as transferable measures of competencies. This is relevant to OECD and European Union in their attempts to create international labour markets.

OECD launched The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the EU proposed Cross-Curricular Competencies, then Key Competencies and finally of the 21st century skills. Learning-to-learn, L2L was originally an EU concept, but has gained support and occupies presently a position among a bundle: L2L, critical thinking, and problem solving.

The outcome is the PISA cycles in every three years (from 2000 to 2015) and inter/national studies around L2L and problem solving. The ultimate idea is to provide thru comparative studies options for national educational policies to prepare for the future of education. PISA is useful tool, but the evidence of PISA claims –the predictive validity– is surprisingly weak and the design prevents to test complex educational models. The sample does not take into account class composition, and the model does not allow for added-value approach. There is also the measurement invariance issue, i.e., national mental frames differ in taking low stakes tests and in measuring beliefs/attitudes.

The lecture will analyse these topics using general (statistical) models and Finnish L2L studies to show how large-scale data enhance self-understanding of national educations. However, the successful way to the 21st century education is not automatically given. There are observations in Europe, named anti-Flynn effects, which give reasons for concerns. These are also reasons for new comparative psychological, educational, economical and historical studies of systems of European education.

The conference will be preceded at 5:30 pm by a brief presentation of the ZIF Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung - Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Universität Bielefeld by Vito Gironda Professor of Hystory of modern societies at Bielefeld