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PISA 2022: Performance in Finland Collapses, but Remains Above Average

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The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 found that while the performance of Finnish young people has deteriorated, it remains above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.

PISA is the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, which measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. PISA 2022 focused on mathematical literacy.

Finnish students achieved a mean score of 484 points in mathematical literacy, compared with the OECD average of 472 points.

Mathematical literacy has been on a downward trajectory in Finland since the 2006 survey. This assessment is a 64 point drop since 2006, the highest-ranking year at 548 points.

The decline in performance is also evident across different performance levels.

In the early 2000s in Finland, only seven percent of students were weak in mathematics, while the most recent study found it is now one-in-four students. Additionally the percentage of top-performing students fell overall.

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Girls outperform boys

Boys outperformed girls in 2012 but since then the gender gap has turned and is now in favour of girls. However, deterioration in performance is evenly distributed across genders.

In PISA 2022, girls scored 487 points in mathematics and boys scored 482 points. Compared to the previous survey in 2018, the average score in mathematical literacy fell by 24 points among girls and by 23 points among boys.

Performance fell in most OECD countries

Learning outcomes deteriorated in an exceptional number of countries. Mathematical literacy fell in as many as 41 comparable countries or economies, of which 35 are OECD countries. Among the OECD countries, student performance only improved in Japan and Korea.

For the first time, many countries also struggled to meet the PISA standards for assessment. This means that either at the school-level or the student-level, response rates failed to meet PISA standards.

In twelve participating countries, either too large a proportion of students were excluded from the test, the response rate of students was not high enough, or the participation rate of schools was not sufficient.

However, these countries have been included in the international comparison, and when using results should be taking into consideration.

Narrowing gap between immigrant and non-immigrant students

Performance declined among students irrespective of whether they have a migrant background or not. In mathematical literacy, the difference between non-immigrant students and first-generation immigrant students narrowed by 11 points relative to the 2012 PISA.

The assessment suggests this is explained by the fact that the scores of students without an immigrant background fell more than those of students with an immigrant background.

Disciplinary climate has room for improvement

Finnish students experienced poorer classroom discipline than students on average across OECD countries. However, since the 2012 survey, classroom discipline has improved.

The disruptive nature of digital devices was also investigated for the first time in PISA 2022.

Of Finnish students, 41 percent reported that the use of students’ digital resources distracted them in every lesson in mathematics or in most lessons in mathematics, which was clearly higher than the OECD average.

However, young Finns’ have confidence in their own abilities. They reported that going to school during the corona period was also good, on average.

In Finland, students felt less lonely than the OECD average, they did not feel that they were falling behind in learning, and had a more positive and confident attitude to independent study.

Source: Yle

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