To date we in the global community have been strongly focused on obtaining and analysing data on access and equity. On those matters, we’ve done a reasonably good job of getting a sense of where we are, and what the challenges are for obtaining internationally agreed targets in the future. And it’s understandable that that has been the focus. It’s hard to invest in sophisticated education policy when you don’t have children in schools. However, moving beyond 2015, it is crucial that in addition to sustaining a focus on these metrics, we in the education game gear ourselves up for the next step: ensuring that the education that is provided is of high quality, and will support students to make their own decisions about their future in an increasingly competitive world. In recognition of the fact that our education systems have suffered from systematic monitoring and evaluation of outcomes , countries have recently paid far greater attention to the role of assessments in boosting education performance and quality. Between 1995 and 2006, for example, the percentage of countries in East Asia and the Pacific that had national learning assessments quadrupled (from 15 to 64 per cent) (source: UNESCO BKK based on Banavot and Tanner 2007). Countries are now engaged in large-scale efforts to improve the way they test competencies, and have invested heavily in ways of ensuring that the examinations they set represent meaningful assessments – testing not only curricula knowledge, but also the skills needed to survive in the labour market.
UNESCO and the World Bank have teamed up on a project entitled Sy stem Assessment and Benchmarking for Education Results (SABER) – an initiative which aims to “ assist countries to systematically examine and strengthen the performance of their education systems by providing diagnostic tools that benchmark education policies according to evidence-based global standards and best practice” Assessment practices – how they’re conducted, what they cover and their purpose – were included in a list of key education indicators in an East Asia pilot survey conducted earlier this year. The preliminary findings are elucidating. First, it found that: - In almost all jurisdictions, assessments are designed to measure competence against the school curriculum - However, interestingly, when asked to select all which apply, only around a quarter felt that their exams reflected either aptitude or intelligence, or practical skills applied in real-life situations
Relevance of testing Much of the recent criticism of assessments seems to relate not to the value of knowing what our children are learning and how well, but whether these tests are giving us that information. It is critical for both educational and legitimacy purposes that assessments are relevant – testing not only core curricula but also the skills necessary to survive beyond education. This should help to allay fears that ‘teaching to the test’ also represents a departure from the core purpose of schooling.
Yet these trends have also produced some additional effects. Chief among the concerns with the enhanced focus on assessments is the burgeoning commentary on the rise in private tutoring in the region; statistics show that at least 3 in every 4 high school students in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam have private tutors. In 2010 in this country alone, around 4.7 billion USD were spent on the so called ‘shadow’ education sector (source: Yonhap News (2011) . [Data – Korea: 75.1% (From primary to upper-secondary, 2009, NSO) Japan: 75.7% (Secondary, 2003, MEXT) Hong Kong: 72%(lower), 82%(middle), 85(senior secondary level, Bray, 2010) Taiwan: 81.2% (Secondary, 1998, Tseng) Vietnam: 76.7% (Upper-secondary, 2007, Dang)] In the face of a burgeoning private industry, and concerns that teachers are encouraged to ‘teach to the test’, analysts have become increasingly interested in what these assessments actually measure.
Assessment surveys – see slide for details. SABER – see slide for details It should be reiterated that the point of these tasks is not to arrive at one model. It would be impossible to design a singular perfect education system, and nor should we try. Education is as much a part of a society as its history, its culture and its people. Local adaptation will almost always improve a system. However, we still do have a lot to learn about where to start, and the general lessons about what works and what doesn’t in the vast majority of the cases. This project should help us to do that, and in turn, it should provide us with a tool which can help us to achieve the universal aspiration of quality education for all.
Talk about the survey we did and provide example of how examination used for policy and learning improvements. Majority of countries indicated that the professional development for teachers and professional development for school leadership are the most common activities that resulted from the most influential examination in their country. Other common activities were review or changes in the curriculum, seminar and conferences for policy makers, intervention for specific group of students and feedback to students. Intervention for specific group of schools, learning area, seminars and conferences for union and professional bodies were less common activities. In addition Australia also indicated that results of the most influential examination lead to the improvement in assessing methods and techniques.
The SABER pilot surveys found that while almost all jurisdictions have a national (or sub-national) large-scale assessment scheme in place, their official purposes differ widely. For example, almost all of those jurisdictions with schemes use it to monitor education quality, however, very few use it to make decisions on bonuses, promotions or probationary proceedings for teachers. Perhaps surprisingly, while the last slide showed that a majority of jurisdictions offer incentives for private schooling, only a quarter report using student assessments to promote competition among schools. (BACK UP SLIDE)
In an increasingly connected world, it is important that students are not just given access to ICT, but emerge with technical skills and knowledge in ICT that they will need for the 21 st century. We know that there are discrepancies in ICT access across the region, but this is an issue not just about computers and internet access in schools- this is about how we integrate these resources into our education systems to promote 21 st century skills. Evidence suggests that what is critical is building the capacity of teachers who will need to be comfortable and competent in their use of ICT in the classroom.
21st century skills are our education systems delivering gwang-chol chang
3 December 2011 e-ASIA2011: Realizing Digital Nation
<ul><li>The need for 21 st century skills </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment systems in the region </li></ul><ul><li>Use of ICT in education to deliver 21 st century skills: UNESCO experience </li></ul>Outline
The need for 21 st century skills <ul><li>New set of skills is needed to be competent in the connected and changing world: </li></ul><ul><li>Critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Technology literacy </li></ul>Static knowledge Connected: Changing knowledge Main sources: Book & Teacher
<ul><li>“ Prepare students for jobs that haven’t been created… </li></ul><ul><li>… solve problems that may not even exist.” </li></ul><ul><li>Former US Education Secretary Richard Riley </li></ul><ul><li>But are we delivering? </li></ul>
Systemic approach in education and learning systems Source: UNESCO Bangkok (2011), Presentation to KEDI Regional Policy Seminar.
<ul><li>Assessment systems to deliver 21 st century skills </li></ul>
<ul><li>In almost all education systems, assessments are designed to measure competence against the school curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>However, interestingly, when asked to select all which apply, only around a quarter felt that their exams reflected either aptitude or intelligence, or practical skills applied in real-life situations </li></ul>What do assessments currently measure? Source: Draft, as yet unpublished SABER surveys. Note: Data for China and Japan are estimates from World Bank/UNESCO consultants.
Challenges and opportunities with learning assessments <ul><li>Wide disparities in learning achievement across and within countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laying solid learning foundations in early grades, key to post-basic expansion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appraising education quality in the mirror of equity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teaching for the test, neglect of aspects not tested </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging demand for key competencies that go beyond traditional cognitive skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing reflection on non-cognitive skills (e.g. Delors report, post-2015 agenda) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policies for improved student learning outcomes are not evidence-based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More systematic use of assessment results for effective policy change and reforms to improve teaching and learning processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Excessive focus on (high-stakes) exams, ignoring aspects of curriculum not tested, and leading to increased private tutoring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to make assessments relevant and conductive to fostering 21 st century skills </li></ul></ul>
Private tutoring… “shadow” education Compiled from UNESCO Bangkok (2011) and Silova (2007) and Sujatha (2007) in Bray (2009 ).
UNESCO initiatives <ul><li>Learning assessment – investigating through research, surveys and forums: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how countries in the region assess student performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how these assessments are used to undertake policy reforms and to improve teaching and learning process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what, if any, real or perceived side-effects the assessments may have </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Systemic level – further developing SABER* </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing and testing a set of practical diagnostic tools for describing and assessing education systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilot test of the policy domains in East Asia in 2011, with 8 policy domains, with the report due early 2012 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further test of a SABER survey tool in way which is simple enough to be useful yet comprehensive enough to be meaningful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UNESCO to contribute to strengthen the SABER evidence, through investigation of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the role of culture in shaping education systems and learning outcomes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the effective use of assessment results for policy and learning improvements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>* SABER (System Assessment and Benchmarking for Education Results), The World Bank initiative, Joint UNESCO/World Bank pilot in East Asia </li></ul>
Use of exam results in the region Source: Evidence from some countries in the region, UNESCO Bangkok 2011 Curri-culum change Inter-ventions for students Inter-vention for schools Inter-vention on specific subject area Profes-sional development of teachers Profes-sional develop-ment for principals/ school leaders Seminars for policy-makers, Researchers Seminars for unions & Profes-sional bodies Feedback to students Kazakhstan ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Kyrgyzstan ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Uzbekistan ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Mongolia ѵ ѵ Australia (Victoria) ѵ New Zealand ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Cook Islands ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Palau ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Tokelau ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Bhutan ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Iran ѵ Sri Lanka ѵ ѵ ѵ ѵ Lao PDR ѵ ѵ ѵ
Use of assessment results Source: Draft, as yet unpublished SABER surveys. * - Data for China and Japan are estimates from World Bank/UNESCO consultants. All but two education systems * report running a national (or sub-national) large-scale assessment scheme Most common official purposes / uses of the assessment scheme Percentage of jurisdictions* with an assessment scheme that answered ‘yes’ 1 Monitor education quality 92 2 Support teachers by providing pedagogically relevant information 58 Policy or program evaluation Provide support and guidance to underperforming schools and teachers 3 School accountability (e.g., recognition, probation, accreditation, closure) 50 Student accountability (e.g., promotion, retention, graduation, admission) Policy design or decision making 4 Monitor education inequalities 42 5 Promote competition among schools, orient demand and school choice 25 6 Teacher accountability (e.g., bonuses, probation, promotion) 17
<ul><li>3. Use of ICT in education to deliver 21 st century skills: </li></ul><ul><li>UNESCO Initiatives </li></ul>
ICT-pedagogy integration <ul><li>Re-direct focus from technology literacy to ICT-enhanced student-centered learning to develop 21 st century skills </li></ul><ul><li>Triangular model: Leadership, curriculum and teaching capacity </li></ul>Deans’ Forums Curriculum Development Workshops Capacity Building Workshops for Teacher Educators Capacity building for better integration Leadership Curriculum Teaching Capacity
Teacher education for project-based learning and tele-collaboration* <ul><li>PBL, one of the student-centered learning approaches that normally requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>Tele-collaboration: ICT enables students to collaborate anytime anywhere across the globe. </li></ul><ul><li>Partner with teacher education institutes (TEIs) to build capacity of teacher educators and teachers to design, implement and assess ICT-enhanced collaborative PBL. </li></ul><ul><li>Beneficiary countries: Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam (Pakistan to be included in 2012) </li></ul>Source: UNESCO Bangkok, project implemented with Korea Funds-in-Trust, 2010-2012)
Regional Experience Sharing Events <ul><li>Regional Seminar Innovative ICT Practices in Teaching and Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An annual platform for trained teachers to share and compete their PBL outputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approx. 100 teachers and teacher educators from different countries in AP participated in the first Seminar in Bangkok, 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>International Symposium on ICT in Education: Potential and Lessons Learnt: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Central and East Asian countries met in Mongolia, Sep 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to share experiences and learn from successful practices and best achievements in ICT in Education, including how ICT is improving learning </li></ul></ul>