09 SES 07 A, Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies: Relationships in Mathematics, Science and Reading Performance
Parallel Paper Session
For the second time since 2000, the Swedish-speaking minority (6 % of the population) in Finland has been assessed in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) with a sample, which is large enough for valid quantitative analyses. Of almost 6000 Finnish students assessed in PISA 2009 approximately 1400 students came from Swedish-speaking schools. Of these, 150 students came from the small autonomous island region of Åland Islands.
Despite the Finnish success in PISA, there are both local and language-related differences in the educational outcome to be found. The results of PISA 2009 indicated that there are great differences between the students in the Swedish-speaking and Finnish-speaking schools in Finland for the benefit of the Finnish-speaking ones. These differences were found in all PISA 2009 assessment domains: in reading, mathematical and scientific literacy. Furthermore, great differences were also found between the different regions of the Swedish-speaking Finland. Two regions that stand out in their educational outcome are the Helsinki metropolitan area and the Åland Islands, where the students’ average scores in reading literacy are 23 points higher than the average of the other Swedish-speaking regions. This difference equals approximately a half year of education. Similar results are also found in the average outcome in mathematical and scientific literacy in PISA 2009.
Åland Islands are interesting from pedagogical perspective for several reasons. The Åland Islands have an autonomous status in Finland. This autonomy includes also education. This means that they have for instance different curriculum compared with other regions of Finland. The islands form also an archipelago in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden and are therefore isolated from the mainland. The influence of Sweden makes the islands a monolingual Swedish-speaking region. Previous PISA studies suggest that autonomous, geographically isolated areas often have significantly poorer educational outcome than the mainland. However, this is not the case with Åland Islands.
In this further comparative study we present and discuss the results of a statistical analysis on potential factors that affect the high performance of students on the Åland Islands compared to the Swedish-speaking regions in Finnish mainland (with the exception of the metropolitan area).
Harju-Luukkainen, H. & Nissinen, K. 2011. Finlandssvenska 15 åriga elevers resultatnivå i PISA 2009 -undersökningen. Jyväskylä universitet: Pedagogiska forskningsinstitutet. Hautamäki, J., Laaksonen, S. & Scheinin, P. 2008. Level and balance of achievement. I PISA 2006. Analy¬zes, reflections, explanations. Ministry of Education. Publications 2008:44. Helsingfors, 37-49. OECD. 2009. PISA 2009. Assessment framework – Key competencies in reading, mathematics and science. Paris: OECD. OECD 2010. What students Know and Can Do: Student Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Scientific Literacy. Paris: OECD OECD 2010. PISA Pathways to Success. How Knowledge and Skills at Age 15 Shape Future Lives in Canada. Paris: OECD. Sulkunen, S., Välijärvi, J., Arffman, I., Harju-Luukkainen, H., Kupari, P., Nissinen, K., Puhakka, E. & Reini¬kainen, P. 2010. PISA 2009 ensituloksia. 15-vuotiaiden lukutaito sekä matematiikan ja luonnontie¬teiden osaaminen. Opetusministeriö & Koulutuksen tutkimuslaitos. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön julkaisuja 2010:21. Helsinki.
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