Why do western nations like the US, Australian and the UK struggle to compete on the international stage when it comes to school mathematics?
A couple of days ago, the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) results from OECD countries were released. I encourage you to go over and have a look.
If you’d rather read someone else’s summary of what is shown in the results, try one of these articles. It’s fascinating to see the different interpretations put on the results in just these few media outlets:
- “Pisa tests: What do we know now?” (BBC, UK)
- “Don’t Panic About PISA” (ABC Australia)
- “PISA 2012 Results: which country does best at reading, maths and science?” (The Guardian, UK)
- “China is Cheating the World Student Rankings System” (TIME, USA)
- “Here’s The New Ranking Of Top Countries In Reading, Science, And Maths” (Business Insider, Australia)
The big majority of visitors to this site are in the following five countries. Check out the position of each one on the mathematics test, out of 65 in the PISA rankings:
- USA – 36th
- Australia – 19th
- UK – 26th
- New Zealand – 22nd
- Canada – 13th
What can educators in the West do about the relatively poor showing of their students in mathematics?