Students’ Global Competence to Be Measured in International Survey

July 8, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. competence /ˈkɒm pɪ təns/ (n.) – the ability to do something that meets a standard
Example: The new program aims to enhance students’ competence in all academic subjects.

2. inclusion /ɪnˈklu ʒən/ (n.) – the act of including something
Example: The school administration encourages the inclusion of parents in some school meetings.

3. technique /tɛkˈnik/ (n.) – a way to do something effectively
Example: Teachers need to use various techniques to catch the students’ interest in learning.

4. incorporate /ɪnˈkɔr pəˌreɪt/ (v.) – to make something a part of something else
Example: School officials decided to incorporate language in the entrance examination.

5. collaborate /kəˈlæb əˌreɪt/ (v.) – to work with
Example: The school collaborated with parents to plan the event.


Read the text below.
Starting 2018, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey will include a test for global competence.

A recent meeting of education ministers from the G7—a group of developed countries consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—discussed the inclusion of a global competence assessment in the international survey PISA. The meeting, held in Kurashiki, Japan, also included representatives from the EU, UNESCO, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Since 2000, PISA, which the OECD developed, has helped about 80 countries improve their education policies through the survey’s results. This test is the only international education survey to assess 15-year-old students’ academic performance as well as their motivations, their own judgment about themselves, and their learning techniques.

In addition to PISA’s existing tests, the OECD and other education representatives around the world decided to incorporate a new test that will measure young people’s attitudes, values, knowledge of global issues, and ability to use other languages. OECD’s chief of staff Gabriela Ramos said that the challenge today is establishing global competence in schools worldwide. She believes that overcoming this challenge will prepare young people for a fast-changing, globalized world.

The new test will cover various behavioral aspects such as respect for others, responsibility, and cultural diversity. The test will also try to identify a student’s awareness on global issues like discrimination and migration. Rankings of countries based on results may not be done for this particular test since most answers will be self-reported, especially in areas seeking to understand students’ attitudes.

Mario Piacentini, a PISA/OECD Directorate for Education Skills staff, mentioned that the organization collaborates with member countries to check the appropriateness of all PISA questions.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think including global competence in PISA is a good move? Why or why not?
·         What are the possible problems that can be encountered when students take the new test for the first time?

Discussion B

·         How do you think learning about foreign beliefs and cultures can benefit a country’s economy?
·         What do you think is the best way to learn about other cultures?

July 8, 2016