The role of PISA in national educational deliberations
Open lecture with professor Ninni Wahlström, Linnæus University.
Proressor Ninni Wahlström. Photo: private
About the lecture
The presentation will focus on the questions of how transnational discourses may change curricula in terms of the societal mandate and pedagogical approach, as well as what the influences of transnational discourses might mean for the mandate of the teachers.
The refugee situation in the fall 2015 was unique, Sweden has never before received so many asylum seekers as this year. In total, just over 163,000 people sought refuge in the country, most of them within a few months. This situation would get an unexpected aftermath in connection with that the report of the Swedish results of the 2018 PISA survey was published by the end of 2019. At the same time as the results were published, some national newspapers and the largest opposition party noted that 11 percent of the students were excluded from participation in the survey - the highest figure among the participating countries - due to deficiencies in the Swedish language. The debate that followed revealed a deep disagreement regarding the Swedish PISA result 2018 whether the result implicated an improvement or not. The question of excluded students in the PISA survey has then been followed by reviews by both the OECD and the National Audit Office.
The purpose of this study is to explore the different actors, interests and perspectives involved at different levels for the conducting of the PISA survey. The analysis, which is based on the framework of discursive institutionalism, primarily concerns the Swedish National Audit Office Report, the OECD report commissioned by the Swedish National Agency for Education, articles in newspapers and comments from politicians and national authorities. The question that comes to the fore is: For how long do students need to have been in a national school system for their results to be used as an indicator of the quality of that school system? An underlying question is, what should be given the highest priority, statistical reliability or students' well-being? While individual principals may feel that their main duty is to protect students from participating in situations that could be potentially uncomfortable, some representatives from authorities and research claim that all selected students, whether they can read and answer the questions or not, need to participate to get a statistically correct result.
With this example of a national debate influenced by transnational cooperation, the presentation will focus on the questions of how transnational discourses may change curricula in terms of the societal mandate and pedagogical approach, as well as what the influences of transnational discourses might mean for the mandate of the teachers.
Deadline 26. November.
The lecture is part of the PhD course Does place matter? Curricula between national policy traditions and global discourses