PISA 2018: New Zealand students' wellbeing - School climate & student mindsets of 15-year-olds Publications
This report summarises aspects of PISA 2018 data related to students’ wellbeing in New Zealand, such as literacy levels, support from parents and teachers, relationships with peers, experiences of bullying, behavioural climate at school and student mindsets.
Author(s): Adam Jang-Jones with Alexandra McGregor, Educational Measurement and Assessment, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: December 2019
- Around four in every five 15-year-old students in New Zealand achieve at or above the baseline levels of achievement associated with success and greater wellbeing in later life.
- Students from all backgrounds and demographic groupings in New Zealand feel they have high parental support for their learning and wellbeing. Similarly high proportions of students feel they enjoy strong academic and emotional support from their teachers.
- As is the case internationally, in New Zealand sense of belonging at school has been in decline. This may be related to increasingly high levels of social media use. New Zealand students’ overall sense of belonging at school is relatively low internationally and may be related to New Zealand’s high rates of bullying.
- Four in five students feel safe at school. Between 2015 and 2018, there was a small decline in the proportion feeling safe, which may in part be linked to rises in bullying behaviours.
- Rates of bullying remain very high in New Zealand. There has been a rise since 2015 in three types of bullying: being made fun of, being threatened, and being hit or pushed. Almost all 15-year-old students in New Zealand hold negative opinions about bullying.
- High numbers of students in New Zealand, especially socioeconomically advantaged students, feel they are in competition with other students at school. More important than the levels of competition may be the balance between competing and cooperating. In all majority English-speaking countries, there is a comparatively large competition-cooperation gap with levels of competition at school very high relative to levels of cooperation.
- There has been a steady rise since 2000 in two negative aspects of behavioural climate in classrooms: noise and disorder in classrooms, and students not listening to what the teacher says.
- The mindsets that students have cultivated by age 15 are linked to their academic performance. Notably, New Zealand students who have developed a ‘growth mindset’ perform substantially higher than those who have developed a ‘fixed mindset’.
- Fear of failure is comparatively high among students in New Zealand. Compared to disadvantaged students, advantaged students feel more value in their schooling and perceive they have more to lose if they fail. However, fear of failure may also be a motivating factor: after accounting for students’ socioeconomic profile, fear of failure is related to higher reading achievement.
- New Zealand students’ sense of general self-efficacy, a central aspect of mental resilience, is around the same as the OECD average. However, there is a wide socioeconomic gap: compared to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, students from advantaged backgrounds feel markedly higher levels of self-efficacy.
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