Saturday 19 July 2014

PISA Test By Sherman Teo

Singapore’s 15-year-olds excel in thinking flexibly and creatively to solve complex and unfamiliar problems. According to the 2012 PISA findings, our students are innovative, are able to handle uncertainty, and dare to experiment with alternative solutions. The strong performance of our students reflects our curricular emphasis and our schools’ efforts in developing problem solving skills in our students. Our broad and inclusive education system has also allowed us to bring out the best in every child. Singapore students have performed well in problem solving processes which involve: Exploring and understanding the situation around a problem, Representing and formulating hypotheses about the factors involved in the problem and their relationships with each other, Planning and executing the steps in a devised plan, and Monitoring and reflecting on the progress of the plan and the eventual solution of the problem. This suggests that our teachers have been encouraging our students to be curious, innovative and to use their intuition to solve problems. This is the second time that Singapore has participated in PISA. A total of 5,369 students, mainly from Secondary 3 and 4, from all 166 public secondary schools participated in PISA 2012. One hundred and seventy-seven students from six private schools also participated in the study. The sampling methods applied by OECD in PISA ensure that the students selected were representative of the 15-year-old population in Singapore.

In my opinion, I believe that the PISA test is not a good way to be testing on Singapore's education system. This system glorifies Singapore students because they are being described as a group who are creative and innovative. However many of the PISA test criteria is already implemented into Singapore's education system under their Science practical experiments therefore it is not a good gauge as to tell whether Singapore students are creative. This will then make the education system in Singapore more stringent as they will start forcing students to do everything just for the PISA test and not taking note of the student's interest. Therefore I do not think that the PISA test is a very good gauge.

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