PISA 2003: Learning for Tomorrow's World: New Zealand Summary Report Publications
PISA 2003, the second cycle of a three-yearly survey of 15-year-olds in over 40 countries, concentrates on three key areas of knowledge and skills: reading literacy, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy. This cycle concentrated on mathematical literacy.
Author(s): Comparative Education Research Unit, Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2004
The Programme for International Student Assessment 2003 (PISA 2003) is the second cycle of this international study assessing the knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students in three key areas: reading literacy, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy. It was commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). New Zealand was one of 41 countries that took part, 30 of which are members of the OECD. This report summarises some of the main results for New Zealand, placed in an international context.
- The New Zealand student mean score in each of reading, mathematics and science placed New Zealand within the group of second highest performing countries for each subject area, along with countries such as Australia, Canada and Japan.
- New Zealand had a wide distribution of achievement scores in each of reading, mathematics and science.
- The achievement of New Zealand students did not change significantly between the 2000 and 2003 PISA assessments in reading, mathematics or science. Internationally, average mathematics performance increased in one of two content areas over this period, while performances in reading and science have essentially remained unchanged.
- New Zealand students also performed well in the cross-curricular competency of problem solving. New Zealand's mean score was in line with those of countries, such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong-China and Japan, that recorded the second highest level of achievement in problem solving.
- In terms of some of the cognitive, affective and attitudinal outcomes of learning measured in PISA, students in New Zealand are generally well placed to meet the challenges they may face once they leave school. For example, their reported self-confidence in mathematics was high relative to the average across OECD countries, and they were among the more frequent users of both memorisation and elaboration learning strategies.
- Principals in New Zealand schools tended to be more positive than principals across the OECD in their views on the effect of possible resource shortages in their schools, reporting that such shortages generally had no or minimal impact on schools’ ability to provide instruction.
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