In a report of nearly one hundred pages released on December 3, 2013, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) highlights the results of the PISA study, exposing the performance of young people from 65 countries that participated to this international study, including Canada.
The international results of this triennial study carried out among more than half a million pupils are available in the PISA 2012 report. Since 2000, this Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) has also made it possible to publish, in a separate report, Canadian data collected through the participation of 21,000 15-year-old students from 900 schools across all the provinces of our country.
Three subjects are studied: mathematics, reading and science. The Canadian results are encouraging. Indeed, the conclusions place Canadian students among the best performing young people on the various tests given. In mathematics, Canada ranks 10e out of 65, while in science it occupies the 8e rank. The results are highest in reading: young Canadians appear in fifth place.
However, these performances do not allow Canada to rest on its “academic” laurels. In fact, despite satisfactory results, when we observe the evolution curve of Canadian results, we see that it, in the field of mathematics, is downward, as well as the curve of scientific disciplines. In reading, however, the country retains the status quo. In this context, the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC), made up of members from various provinces, has a mandate to enhance the performance of young people, furthermore by analyzing how to improve numeracy. That said, Quebec students stand out from their Canadian peers in mathematics, being the only ones to surpass the Canadian average and immediately after China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan in the world division by provinces (Chart 1.1. , page 20 of canadian report).
In addition, the gender of the students seems to play a role in learning. Girls do better in reading overall, regardless of where they come from. As for boys, they surpass female students in mathematics. For their part, the sciences are not the prerogative of any of these groups in particular.
Other findings, highlighted in the table of contents of the Canadian report, may be of interest to educators and parents. Read the report Canadian and the report international or visit the website of Council of Ministers of Education for more information, highlights, a PowerPoint presentation and frequently asked questions.
Interestingly, since the PISA tests began in 2000, only 5 countries have consistently scored above the world average in all tests, namely Finland, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand and the 'Australia.