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Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow. 21 st World Congress on Reading, 7-10 August 2006 Andreas Schleicher Head, Indicators and Analysis Division OECD Directorate for Education.

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Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

21st World Congress on Reading, 7-10 August 2006

Andreas Schleicher

Head, Indicators and Analysis Division

OECD Directorate for Education


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

In the dark……all students, schools and education systems look the same…

But with a little light….


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

In the dark……all students, schools and education systems look the same…

But with a little light….

…important differences become apparent….


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High-level qualificationsApproximated by the percentage of persons with ISCED 5A/6 qualfication in the age groups 55-64, 45-55, 45-44 und 25-34 years (2003)

3

20

21

8


Overview

Overview

1.Why literacy skills matter

  • Literacy and the knowledge economy

    2.Where we are today - and where we can be

  • What PISA shows students in different countries can do with what they have learned

  • Examples from the best performing countries

    3.How we can get there

  • Some policy levers that emerge from international comparisons


Why literacy matters

Why literacy matters

Literacy and the knowledge economy


Who will be safe from outsourcing digitalisation and automatisation

Who will be “safe” from outsourcing, digitalisation and automatisation?

  • The great synthesisers

    • Conventionally, our approach to problems was breaking them down into manageable bits and pieces, today we create value by synthesising disparate bits together

  • The great explainers

    • The more content we can search and access, the more important the filters and explainers become

  • The great collaborators and orchestrators

    • The more complex the globalised world becomes, the more individuals and companies need various forms of co-ordination and management


Who will be safe from outsourcing digitalisation and automatisation1

Who will be “safe” from outsourcing, digitalisation and automatisation?

  • The great versatilists

    • Specialists generally have deep skills and narrow scope, giving them expertise that is recognised by peers but not valued outside their domain

    • Generalists have broad scope but shallow skills

    • Versatilists apply depth of skill to a progressively widening scope of situations and experiences, gaining new competencies, building relationships, and assuming new roles.

    • They are capable not only of constantly adapting but also of constantly learning and growing

  • The great personalisers

    • A revival of interpersonal skills, skills that have atrhophied to some degree because of the industrial age and the Internet

  • The great localisers

    • Localising the global


Why literacy skills matter

Why literacy skills matter

  • Reading is the currency in the knowledge society

    • Just as those with little money have difficulty meeting their basic needs, those with limited literacy are likely to find it more challenging to pursue their goals

    • Like most currencies, reading literacy has been subject to inflation over the years

  • Despite the rapid growth in the supply of qualifications, demand grows even faster

    • Such that the earnings and employment gap continues to grow


Why literacy skills matter1

Why literacy skills matter

  • Approximately three quarters of adults with the lowest level of reading literacy in IALS were either not working or, if working, in relatively low-paying jobs (in the bottom 40% of wage earners)

  • Adults in the two lowest reading literacy levels were typically twice as likely to be unemployed as those in the highest three levels

  • Lower skills place individuals at higher risks of dependency and also influence civic, community and political behaviour


Where we are and where we can be

Where we are - and where we can be

What PISA shows students can do

Examples of the best performing countries


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

Key features of PISA 2003

PISA country participation

OECD countries participating from PISA 2000

OECD countries participating from PISA from 2003

OECD partner countries participating from PISA 2000

OECD partner countries participating from PISA 2003

OECD partner countries participating from PISA 2006

  • Information collected

    • volume of the tests

      • 6½ hours of assessment material

    • each student

      • 2 hours on paper-and-pencil tasks (subset of all questions)

      • ½ hour for questionnaire on background, learning habits, learning environment, engagement and motivation

    • school principals

      • questionnaire (school demography, learning environment quality)

  • Coverage

    • PISA covers roughly nine tens of the world economy

    • In Iceland all 15-year-olds in school took part, in other countries representative samples of between 3,500 and 50,000 students


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High reading performance

Average performanceof 15-year-olds in reading literacy

Low reading performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High reading performance

Average performanceof 15-year-olds in reading literacy

High average performance

Large socio-economic disparities

High average performance

High social equity

Strong socio-economic impact on student performance

Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities

Low average performance

Large socio-economic disparities

Low average performance

High social equity

Low reading performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High reading performance

Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik

High average performance

Large socio-economic disparities

High average performance

High social equity

Strong socio-economic impact on student performance

Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities

Low average performance

Large socio-economic disparities

Low average performance

High social equity

Low reading performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

School performance and schools’ socio-economic background - Hungary

Student performance

PISA Index of social background

Disadvantage

Advantage

Student performance and student SES within schools

School performance and school SES

Student performance and student SES

School proportional to size

Figure 4.13


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

School performance and schools’ socio-economic background - Hungary

Student performance

PISA Index of social background

Disadvantage

Advantage

Student performance and student SES within schools

School performance and school SES

Student performance and student SES

School proportional to size

Figure 4.13


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

School performance and schools’ socio-economic background - Hungary

Student performance

PISA Index of social background

Disadvantage

Advantage

OECD

Student performance and student SES within schools

OECD

School performance and school SES

OECD

Student performance and student SES

School proportional to size

Figure 4.13


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

School performance and schools’ socio-economic background - Hungary

Student performance

PISA Index of social background

Disadvantage

Advantage

OECD

Student performance and student SES within schools

OECD

School performance and school SES

OECD

Student performance and student SES

School proportional to size

Figure 4.13


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

School performance and schools’ socio-economic background - Finland

Student performance and student SES

Student performance and student SES within schools

School performance and school SES

School proportional to size

Student performance

PISA Index of social background

Disadvantage

Advantage

Figure 4.13


How can we get there

How can we get there?

Levers for policy that emerge from international comparisons


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

  • Sympathy doesn’t raise standards – aspiration does

    • PISA suggests that students and schools perform better in a climate characterised by high expectations and the readiness to invest effort, the enjoyment of learning, a strong disciplinary climate, and good teacher-student relations

      • Among these aspects, students’ perception of teacher-student relations and classroom disciplinary climate display the strongest relationships

High ambitions and clear standards

Access to best practice and quality professional development


Reading in competition with professionals

Reading in competition with professionals

More people can identify the golden arches of McDonalds than the Christian Cross

(Sponsor Research International)

Every boy knows Nintendo

Every girl knows Barbie


The role of books and engagement with reading

The role of books and engagement with reading

  • Results from PISA show…

    • Students from advantaged backgrounds…

      …have a greater chance of coming to school more engaged in reading and entering into a virtuous circle of increasing reading interest and improved reading performance

      …but not all engaged students come from privileged homes…

      …and those from more modest backgrounds who read regularly and feel positive about it are better readers than students with home advantages and weaker reading engagement

    • Schools can make a significant difference to bring students into the virtuous circle

      • Seeking mutual reinforcement of cognitive skills and motivation, particularly for boys


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

HighPerformance

OECD average performance of students with more than 250 books

Performance of students with 101 – 250 books at home

Performance of students with 51 – 100 books at home

Access to books at home

Performance of students with 11 – 50 books at home

And moreover…

“Cultural capital” appears more closely related to student performance than family wealth

OECD average performance of students who have 10 or fewer books at home

Low Performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

HighPerformance

About once a month or more .

A few times per year

Public and school libraries

OECD average performance of students who never or hardly ever borrow books to read for pleasure from a public library

Low Performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

HighPerformance

30 minutes to one hour

One hour or more

30 minutes or less each day

Reading for enjoyment

And moreover…

Predictive power of reading activities almost equally strong for mathematics and science performance

OECD average performance of students who never or hardly ever read for enjoyment

Low Performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

HighPerformance

Diversified readers in long texts (22%)(Magazines, newspapers, demanding texts and books)

Diversified readers in short texts (28%)(Magazines, newspapers, comics and moderate readers of fiction and non-fiction)

A profile of reading engagement

Moderately diversified readers (27%)(Typical materials are magazines or newspapers)

OECD average performance of least diversified readers (22%)(only magazines frequently read)

Low Performance


Some conclusions

Some conclusions

  • Having diverse reading material at home is strongly associated with high overall student performane and engagement in reading, which includes positive attitudes towards reading…

    …but there is much schools can do to bring students into the virtuous circle of increasing reading interest and student performance

  • Improvement in literacy performance relies not just on improving student cognitive skills but also on increasing their engagement in reading

  • Engagement in reading may be an effective policy lever to mediate the impact of social background on performance

  • The emergence at relatively early ages of, for example, gender differences in reading performance and engagement underline the importance of an early start


Challenge and support

Challenge and support

Strong support

Poor performance

Improvements idiosyncratic

Strong performance

Systemic improvement

Lowchallenge

Highchallenge

Poor performance

Stagnation

Conflict

Demoralisation

Weak support


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High ambitions

Devolved responsibility,the school as the centre of action

Accountability and intervention in inverse proportion to success

Access to best practice and quality professional development


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High mathematics performance

Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik

High average performance

Large socio-economic disparities

High average performance

High social equity

Strong socio-economic impact on student performance

Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities

Low average performance

Large socio-economic disparities

Low average performance

High social equity

Low mathematics performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High mathematics performance

Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik

Strong socio-economic impact on student performance

Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities

  • School with responsibility for deciding which courses are offered

    • High degree of autonomy

    • Low degree of autonomy

Low mathematics performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High mathematics performance

Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik

Strong socio-economic impact on student performance

Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities

  • Early selection and institutional differentiation

    • High degree of stratification

    • Low degree of stratification

Low mathematics performance


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

Strong ambitions

Devolvedresponsibility,the school as the centre of action

Integrated educational opportunities

Accountability

Individualisedlearning

Access to best practice and quality professional development


Literacy skills for the world of tomorrow

High ambitions

Devolved responsibility, the school as the centre of action

Integrated educational opportunities

Accountabilityand intervention in inverse proportion to success

Individualisedlearning

Access to best practice and quality professional development


The past

The past


The future

The future

Creating a knowledge-rich profession in which schools and teachers have the capacity to act, the knowledge to do so wisely, and access to effective support systems

Informed professional judgement, the teacher as a “knowledge worker”

Informed prescription

National prescription

Professional judgement

Uninformed prescription, teachers implement curricula

Uninformed professional judgement, teachers working in isolation

The tradition of education systems has been “knowledge poor”


Paradigm shifts

Paradigm shifts

The old bureaucratic education system

The modern enabling education system

Universal high standards

Hit & miss

Uniformity

Embracing diversity

Provision

Outcomes

Bureaucratic – look up

Devolved – look outwards

Talk equity

Deliver equity

Received wisdom

Data and best practice

Prescription

Informed profession

Demarcation

Collaboration


Further information

Further information

  • www.pisa.oecd.org

    • All national and international publications

    • The complete micro-level database

  • email: [email protected]

  • [email protected]

    …and remember:

    Without data, you are just another person with an opinion


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