OECD debases its currency

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I see that the OECD Directorate of Education and Skills has launched its new PISA Global Competence Framework.  This is to be the basis for the 2018 PISA assessment.

OECD (that should really now be OECDGC) says:

Learning to participate in interconnected, complex and diverse societies is no longer a luxury but a pressing necessity. Recognising the unique roles that schools play in preparing our youth to participate in our world, PISA has developed a framework to explain, foster and assess adolescents’ global competence.  The framework is designed as a tool for policy makers, leaders, and teachers interested in nurturing global competence among young people world wide.

Good luck, I'd say.  OECDGC defines global competence like this:

Global competence is the capacity to examine local, global and intercultural issues, to understand and appreciate the perspectives and world views of others, to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different cultures, and to act for collective well-being and sustainable development.

And it has a yingy-yangy sort of model to go with this balcony.  And why do we need all this?  Well, OECDGC says it's because we need to ...

  • live harmoniously in multicultural communities
  • thrive in a changing labour market
  • use media platforms effectively and responsibly
  • support the Sustainable Development Goals

What a dog's breakfast of a rationale.  I was surprised not to see 'dispose of waste responsibly', 'drive carefully', and 'drink sensibly' in there.  Andreas Schleicher, OECDGC Director for Education and Skills tries to explain it all (away) in a blog.

My real concern, however, in all this nonsense is that in order to get a good PISA grade from now on it will not be enough to give a good answer; rather, you'll have to know what OCEDGC wants the answer to be, which is a different thing altogether.  I fear it can only give aid and comfort to those governments who have been looking for ways to boost their PISA scores without actually bothering to teach children anything useful.

Unhappy New Year.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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