Putting a pause on PISA (Alma Harris)
In this session, Harris talked about high performance in a global context and argued that ‘high performance is relative’. She talked about PISA and the success stories of places like Finland and China. She argued strong about the importance of CONTEXT and talked about ‘the other side of the story’, of a culture of private tutoring, of students having 4-5 hours sleep, that success comes with a price. ‘Do we really want to be the top of PISA that much?’, the ‘iron child’ culture. She referenced a book ‘The Smartest Kids in the World’ (Amanda Ripley) but argued that PISA was over valued.
Imagine a grading for students on the ‘Global Youth Wellbeing Index’, she argued, where Australia is the leading country.
We have to be cautious about the attributions we make about the data we see. There are missing pieces like diversity, inclusion, equity and context.
She showed us context like the number of schools, ‘you can borrow policies but you can’t borrow context.’
– Quality teaching matters
– Leadership is the big enabler
– Professional learning is essential
– A central focus on students as learners and people
Harris concluded by talking about the importance of leadership.
It was refreshing.
Professor Harris tweets at @AlmaHarris1