Tuesday, December 07, 2010

PISA in France

The OECD have published their latest PISA results in which France sits somewhere in the middle and China came out on top. A report of the French results can found here.

A quick glance through reveals some interesting assessments.
En France, la préscolarisation a un impact significatif sur la performance en compréhension de l’écrit. Les élèves qui ont déclaré avoir été préscolarisés pendant plus d’un an devancent de 100 points au moins en compréhension de l’écrit les élèves qui ont déclaré ne pas l’avoir été en France.
In France, preschool has a significant impact on the performance of written comprehension. Pupils who declared as having been in preschool for at least 1 year had a score of at least 100 more than those who hadn't. (Good news for guilt-ridden working mothers!)

Dans les pays où on redouble beaucoup (dont la France), tout comme dans les pays où les élèves sont orientés dans différents programmes à un âge précoce, l’impact du milieu socio-économique sur la performance des élèves est plus grand en général.
In countries where redoubling is common (eg France) as well as those directed into different programmes at an early age, the socio-economic milieu of the child has an important impact. (Obviously, pushy parents will be encouraging their children and doing everything possible to ensure their success - private tutors, books, parental help).

La France se classe parmi les pays de l’OCDE où la discipline est la moins respectée et ceci même si la plupart des élèves en France bénéficient de classes disciplinées. De plus, le climat de discipline s’est dégradé entre PISA 2000 et 2009.
France is among the OECD countries where discipline is the least respected and this, even if most pupils in France have access to disciplinary classes. Furthermore, discipline has gone down between PISA 2000 and 2009.

Les élèves français de 15 ans déclarent également plus que la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE que les enseignants les encouragent à lire.
Le plaisir de lire joue un rôle important dans la performance, et explique en France 21% de la variation dans les performances et la lecture par plaisir, même au plus une demi-heure par jour, améliore significativement la performance en France.

French pupils of 15 years old also declare more than the OECD average that teachers encourage them to read.
Reading for pleasure plays an important role in performance and explains the 21% difference in performance and reading for pleasure - even half an hour a day significantly improves performance in France. (Interesting, and scary for those who don't like reading!)

Parmi les pays de l’OCDE, c’est en Italie et en France que les élèves en savent le plus sur les stratégies efficaces de synthèse...
Among OECD countries, pupils from Italy and France know the most effective resume strategies. (A good discipline, will serve them well.)

This is bad news for my boys who hate reading but will have to knuckle down and make the effort. Despite the fact that teachers encourage them to read, there are libraries in schools and special offers within schools to bulk buy books to lower the price, my not unintelligent guys will not pick up a book by choice. Luckily they both went to the maternelle, so got a good grounding in whatever it was makes for good comprehension.

It's true that they have to decide very young which academic or non-academic path to take. When they enter lycée, they are oriented towards the Bac Pro or Bac General and once there, it's very difficult to change course. My eldest will still be 14 when he goes to lycée. This is very young, especially if the child is immature and just wants to muck about still (like mine). It seems unreasonable to penalise late-developers.

I think my eldest is finally waking up to the seriousness of the situation. I hope so; it would be a shame to fall into the wrong orientation just because he was lazy. I tell you, I'm having some hairy moments at the moment because it is right now that schools pre-register kids for lycée, based on last year's and this term's results. I'm assuming, however, that his teachers have sussed that he is bright but lazy. Aren't ados a pain in the arse? Then, just as they are at their most appalling, they have to make important decisions about their future.

That's French education for you - unreasonable, rigid, inflexible. Fab...

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