PISA 2018: Resources for learning: Access, quality and capacity Publications
This report uses data from the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment to answer two questions:
- Do 15-year-old New Zealand students have access to quality resources at their school?
- Do schools (attended by 15-year-olds) have the capacity to use the resources effectively?
Author(s): Emma Medina, Educational Measurement and Assessment, Ministry of Education
Date Published: September 2020
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New Zealand in March 2020, the digital divide between students who have reliable access to devices and internet at home and those who don’t was more exposed than ever before. Action was taken immediately because computers were considered essential resources. There are other resources that are also essential in school – textbooks, libraries, laboratories and software. Quality physical infrastructure and facilities such as heating, lighting and acoustics are also critical for learning.
A group of comparison countries were chosen either because they have performed consistently well in PISA, or because they have improved over the years, are also shown in order to highlight New Zealand’s strengths and weaknesses relative to these countries.
- Access to quality material resources for learning was relatively high compared to the OECD average, but was not equitably distributed. Education systems whose students who had equitable access to resources generally performed better in reading.
- In New Zealand, access to quality physical infrastructure is more of an issue than access to quality educational materials, compared to the OECD on average.
- On average, more than one computer was available for each Year 11 student (including ‘bring your own devices’), and 70% of the computers were portable.
- Most students’ principals agreed the level of technology at their school was sufficient, higher than the OECD average.
- New Zealand teachers’ capacity to use digital devices for learning effectively was relatively low according to principal reports.
- Most students were in schools with clear guidelines on the use of technology for learning.
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