Singapore instead of Karkur? International comparisons of students' achievements and the globalization of educational targets.

Abraham Yogev, Idit Livneh, Yariv Feniger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Comparative international tests of student achievements have become increasingly popular during the last decade. An outcome of this common practice is a tendency by various countries to evaluate their national status based on their students' international ranking in such achievement tests, partly due to the belief that high ranking symbolizes the future national capability of competing in the global market. Using PISA tests, the present study aims to show that low achievements by Israeli students were both fairly predictable and due to a specific methodological problem. It shows that Israeli students' average achievements are almost congruent with predictions based on the country's economic and demographic characteristics. The findings suggest that the public debate in Israel on school achievement has been blown out of proportion. In practice, the low international ranking of Israeli students has encouraged an attempt to enforce educational standards aimed at increasing school achievements previously rejected by the teacher's organizations and led the government to commission a 'national task force' on school reform. It is argued here; that excessive preoccupation with the international stratification issue has obstructed any useful public discourse on achievement differences between schools of dominant and subordinate social groups in Israel. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)337-355
Number of pages19
JournalMegamot
Volume46
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Academic Achievement
  • Cross Cultural Differences
  • Educational Reform
  • Globalization
  • Performance Tests
  • Educational Standards
  • Jews
  • Students

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