PISA 2003: Student learning approaches for tomorrow’s world Publications
This PISA-03 thematic report tells us about the extent to which New Zealand 15-year-old students feel engaged in learning, display self-belief in learning particular subjects, and adopt various learning strategies.
Author(s): Ministry of Education.
Date Published: November 2009
Background: the PISA survey
PISA surveys the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in the principal industrialised countries. The product of collaboration between participating governments through the OECD, it draws on leading international expertise to develop comparisons across countries and cultures.
PISA 2003 is the second assessment in the series. In this survey:
- Well over a quarter of a million students in 41 countries took part. All 30 OECD member countries participated, as well as ‘partner countries’ in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
- Each student took a two-hour written test in their school.
- Students were assessed in mathematics, reading, science, and problem solving. Mathematics was the main focus in 2003, while reading was the main focus in the first survey in 2000. The next PISA assessment in 2006 will focus on student performance in science.
- The assessment used a continuous scale to measure students’ capacity to apply knowledge and skills in key subject areas and to analyse, reason, and communicate effectively as they posed, solved, and interpreted problems in a variety of situations.
The key features of the PISA approach are:
- Its policy orientation, with the design and reporting methods determined by the need of governments to draw policy lessons.
- The innovative ‘literacy’ concept, which is concerned with the capacity of students to apply knowledge and skills in key subject areas and to analyse, reason, and communicate effectively as they pose, solve, and interpret problems in a variety of situations.
- Its inclusion of assessment that is not restricted to particular areas of the school curriculum. The assessment of ‘problem-solving’ in 2003 was the first such ‘cross-curricular’ assessment.
- Its regularity, which will enable countries to monitor their progress in meeting key learning objectives over time.
- Its consideration of student performance alongside the background characteristics of students at home and school in order to explore some of the main features associated with educational success. Each participating student and school completed a questionnaire that allowed a wide range of background information. to be considered alongside student performance.
- Its breadth of geographical coverage, as the countries that have participated so far represent one-third of the world’s population and almost nine-tenths of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Overall, New Zealand students perform well in the PISA assessment. They are consistently in the top third among OECD countries across all the domains surveyed. In mathematics, New Zealand students are estimated to be ranked between seventh and tenth out of the 29 OECD countries who reported valid results.
Where to find out more
If you have any questions about PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) please email: PISA Mailbox