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Offline Rick Law

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Education News
« on: December 03, 2019, 09:06:29 pm »
The PISA test results are in - that is the OECD reading/math/science test.

Article on Bloomberg News (December 3, 2019):  China’s Schoolchildren Are Now the Smartest in the World
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-03/china-shines-in-education-as-richest-economies-fail-to-improve

Score card attached, but to save you some page flipping/web searching - First, important to note that reported PISA score from China is from four (4) location/provinces only: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.  China has 23 provinces.  Second, Below are the top scores:

Scores listed are reading, math, science in that order:
#1 China: 555, 591, 590
#2 Singapore: 549, 569, 551
#3 Macao, China: 525, 558, 544
#4 Hong Kong, China: 524, 551, 517
#5 Estonia: 523 523, 530
#6 Canada: 520, 512, 518
Together with Finland, Ireland, Korea, Poland are top 10.  Below are where (I think) a lot of fellow forum members are from  (sorry if I missed you):
#12 New Zealand: 506, 494, 508
#13 USA: 505, 478, 502
#14 UK: 504, 502, 505 (wonder why this is below USA!!??)
#15 Japan: 504, 527, 529
#16 Australia: 503, 531, 516

Attached image is the full score-card posted in the OECD site, below is the link to OECD:
http://www.oecd.org/pisa/PISA-results_ENGLISH.png

Judging from comments (if I recalled correctly) made here on Bloomberg's reporting on hidden stuff in Intel CPU and other posts related to Bloomberg, I know many here don't think highly of Bloomberg's news reporting.  So consider what follows a disclaimer or take it however you may.  From Wall Street Journal: Bloomberg news reporter is no longer credentialed by the White House after the company said it wouldn’t investigate Democratic presidential candidates while its owner, Mike Bloomberg, sought the party’s nomination.
[RL: So by their own words as reported by WSJ, Bloomberg News isn't exactly an unbiased news reporting organization.]
https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-campaign-wont-credential-bloomberg-news-reporters-11575307679
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Education News
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 09:30:35 pm »
How are those tests conducted exactly? Is is some self reporting thing? Or is there some form of an actual examination. Where can I find sample tests for various languages?
Alex
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Education News
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 12:34:32 am »
How are those tests conducted exactly? Is is some self reporting thing? Or is there some form of an actual examination. Where can I find sample tests for various languages?

Countries or regions participate OECD PISA*, then PISA chooses a few schools by their own discretion (lowest to highest, kinda represent average), then random 15 year old kids of 7th grade and higher are chosen to be tested using PISA's test designed by themselves, in the native language of education in that region.

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/

*: Mainland China did NOT participate PISA, but some cities did, thus only 4 cities are being studied. Judging from the overall disparity of education in China, I think the average would be lower, but how low depends on how far (remote) did you extend the survey to. Most major cities and better towns in China mainland should fall between Hong Kong and Taiwan, as that's what average IQ data suggests, but if you go farther to rural areas, it could be unbelievably low.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 12:40:40 am by blueskull »
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Education News
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 12:50:09 am »
Thanks. I went there and now I know know that it is safe to give aspirin to chickens.

It would be good to see the full test from past years or something. Based on the example it looks like a less stressful version of SAT.

Given that countries are probably providing the best schools, I'm not sure if this is a good test for conclusive numbers.

3 excellent schools from Japan and 3 excellent schools from Estonia may represent very different things very different things. You at least need to consider overall population density.
Alex
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Education News
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 12:57:35 am »
Given that countries are probably providing the best schools, I'm not sure if this is a good test for conclusive numbers.

They said schools are chosen by OECD using a "stringent" method. How exactly it works that you might need to dig into their documents.
I'm sure OECD, just like other big international organizations, have tons of documents written in cryptic legal verbiage.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Education News
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 01:15:35 am »

#12 New Zealand: 506, 494, 508
#13 USA: 505, 478, 502
#14 UK: 504, 502, 505 (wonder why this is below USA!!??)
#15 Japan: 504, 527, 529
#16 Australia: 503, 531, 516


That is, why are the USA scores in an artificially high position?

Because it's being ranked purely by reading score. Ranked by composite score it would look very different, ranking wise. The ranking BTW is OECD's own, not an artifact of Bloomberg reporting (which I must confess I first suspected as it made the US 'look better').

The OECD (the "Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development") appear to count reading more important for 'economic development' than maths and science, presumably because they're stuffed full of bureaucrats and economists - two groups who seem to have little use for maths and science.  >:D
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Education News
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 05:27:32 am »

#12 New Zealand: 506, 494, 508
#13 USA: 505, 478, 502
#14 UK: 504, 502, 505 (wonder why this is below USA!!??)
#15 Japan: 504, 527, 529
#16 Australia: 503, 531, 516


That is, why are the USA scores in an artificially high position?

Because it's being ranked purely by reading score. Ranked by composite score it would look very different, ranking wise. The ranking BTW is OECD's own, not an artifact of Bloomberg reporting (which I must confess I first suspected as it made the US 'look better').

The OECD (the "Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development") appear to count reading more important for 'economic development' than maths and science, presumably because they're stuffed full of bureaucrats and economists - two groups who seem to have little use for maths and science.  >:D

I took those numbers directly from the OECD site, so I knew Bloomberg has nothing to do with it.  I figured that they were ranking by reading score.  I was taking issue with that in my mind.  Hence my comment "(wonder why this is below USA!!??)" to trigger discussion.

I believe that one needs certain level of reading comprehension.  Say (picking a number) 400 is adequate, once that number is reached, incremental improvement (say 420) really doesn't matter much.  Whereas, incremental math skill improvement is far more meaningful for an SAT like test.  Thus, I believe, as long as reading score meets certain minimal, it is no longer as important as math score as no modern society can function without an understanding of some level of mathematics.  I think listing by math score is probably more reflective.

That said, since College Board (SAT) is suppose to have worked with international organizations...  We should be mindful that the new SAT introduced a few years back made SAT easier.  According to U of South Carolina's web pages then, for the same scholarship, you would need 60-70 points more on the new SAT to qualified.  PISA score could be inflated as the new SAT score was.

This was what I said back then:
USA/Euro students has to get better.  We in the USA are doing awful.  As our scores get lower, we fool ourselves with a redesigned test to hide the decline.  The redesigned SAT (rSAT) is about 70 points easier that the OldSAT.  There was challenges to my statement when I made it a couple of months back in another reply.  Back then, I got it verbally that rSAT about 60 points easier, but being verbal I could not cite examples.  Now I can cite a specific:

University of South Carolina website:
"For example, if the average SAT of the entering freshman class is roughly 1210 on the SAT, we expect that the average for a class with similar characteristics to post a rSAT average close to 1280."
https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/undergraduate_admissions/requirements/for_freshmen/redesigned_sat/
(Screen print also attached since rSAT replaced oldSAT March 2016.  The linked page will likely be gone after this cycle as freshmans with OldSAT scores will mostly be gone after this cycle.)

I hope the PISA test will continue to be independent.  The same Common Core folks that redesigned down the SAT wants to work with PISA to realign their tests.  With clear rejection of Common Core in the USA (besides 11 of 50 states passed law to reject it, opponents of Common Core won the Presidential election), it is getting more likely that PISA will remain as it was.  None the less, it will likely be noted by the outgoing administration that "SAT score got better under their administration..."

First thing about fixing a flaw is admitting that we have a flaw.  So we must admit that our high school students are not as good in their fundamentals.  It is true that "perhaps we are more creative."  But without having fundamentals to anchor that creativity, that creativity is worthless.

High school is where one learns the fundamentals.  It is high time we stop fooling ourselves that we are more creative therefore our engineers are better...   Wake up, smell the poop so we know we need to clean up and get serious about doing it.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 05:29:55 am by Rick Law »
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Education News
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 08:06:11 am »
PISA test is conducted without stringent observation from anybody responsible, the education ministry just sent the test set to schools. the teachers will allocate time for students to answer, and then sent back to wherever it came from. so it subjects to whatever political motive of one particular country, if they want to be on number 1, then its very easy to do so. and the test set is not relating to the education sillibus taught in schools, iirc i've seen questions asked to form 2 students that supposedly taught on form 5, so its kinda invalid test imho. i prefer to think PISA as sort of an IQ test or to see how cultural thinking/blending in one particular area in term of academic knowledge compared to normal human life, in general... here kids are always playing around like normal kids, only very few that are nerdy sleep with books, and those usually be elected/sent to elite schools. not sure what exactly the test want to prove.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Education News
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 02:53:02 pm »
Thanks. I went there and now I know know that it is safe to give aspirin to chickens.

 ;D
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Education News
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2019, 01:36:03 am »
PISA test is conducted without stringent observation from anybody responsible, the education ministry just sent the test set to schools. the teachers will allocate time for students to answer, and then sent back to wherever it came from. so it subjects to whatever political motive of one particular country, if they want to be on number 1, then its very easy to do so. and the test set is not relating to the education sillibus taught in schools, iirc i've seen questions asked to form 2 students that supposedly taught on form 5, so its kinda invalid test imho. i prefer to think PISA as sort of an IQ test or to see how cultural thinking/blending in one particular area in term of academic knowledge compared to normal human life, in general... here kids are always playing around like normal kids, only very few that are nerdy sleep with books, and those usually be elected/sent to elite schools. not sure what exactly the test want to prove.
[BOLD added to quote ]

SAT, LSAT, GRE, are all forms of IQ test according to University of Toronto Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson in one of his lectures posted on line .   So it is a good bet PISA is a form of IQ test as well.

According to Peterson's lecture, IQ tests are illegal or unacceptable in many context, so these tests  became substitutes: sampling what you have stored in the warehouse between the ears (things understood - crystallized intelligence) to get at how well you can understand (fluid intelligence).

* * * * * * What follows is my opinion and not from Peterson's lecture

While I do not agree with Bloomberg's "click bait" article title "China’s School children Are Now the Smartest in the World", what the PISA score shown is China has kids that can pack a lot in their brains and use it well, at least for those who can get to the learning resources to "pack their brains".

China with a population (1.4b) larger than US and Europe combined (~1b) , they do have awesome potential.  As more and more of their kids got highly educated, they could have almost 1.5x the smart people of US and Europe combined and that is a an awful lot of high ability competitors.

Beside China, add competition from AI to that equation.  We all better work a lot harder and smarter or we will have a hard time rather soon.
 

Offline Undweeber

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Re: Education News
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2019, 02:04:16 am »
I will not for a second believe that China has all 4 first places, it is likely the teachers simply given the answers to the students. :-DD


If you would like to know what colleges are like in china I implore you to watch this video made by ADVChina



Basically, students in China commit suicide over highschool it's that difficult, if they do well they go to college, once in college they do practically nothing, 99% graduation rate from universities.

Meanwhile the United States, which has almost all the top schools in the entire world, is "13th" on the list, so I would take those results and cut Asia out completely (apart from Korea and Japan), which would make it:


#1 Estonia: 523 523, 530
#2 Canada: 520, 512, 518
Together with Finland, Ireland, Korea, Poland are top 6.
#7 New Zealand: 506, 494, 508
#8 USA: 505, 478, 502
#9 UK: 504, 502, 505
#10 Japan: 504, 527, 529
#11 Australia: 503, 531, 516

The one and only advantage chinese have is great memory, and that stems from the nature of their language, they basically have to memorize the characters each of which is a complete word, and CORRECT combinations of which you have to remember too, for example CAT HEAD EAGLE (猫头鹰) means an OWL, if you mix those characters and write HEAD CAT EAGLE -- nobody will understand what you are saying. In the west we are made to memorize poems, they are easier to remember if they rhyme, we do it in one class, and on occasion, chinese basically never stop training their memory while learning new words and characters, so by the time they are close to done with middle school their memory is far superior to our memory especially if one is a good student who hasn't dropped out of highschool.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 02:13:10 am by Undweeber »
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Education News
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2019, 02:20:54 am »
We all better work a lot harder and smarter or we will have a hard time rather soon.
or... we can just sit and relax, when they are on top of everything, we can just clone them, buy their second hand goodies etc... and later we (i mean you americans) can be the smartest (dragon awaken) kids again. life is merry go round..
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Education News
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2019, 02:38:42 am »
I will not for a second believe that China has all 4 first places, it is likely the teachers simply given the answers to the students. :-DD

IQ test puts the Greater China on the top, among Singapore, Korea and Japan.
Also, only top 4 cities in China mainland are ranked, while the rest are not. If you only put top 4 cities in US rather than the whole US under investigation, US will bump up too.

If you would like to know what colleges are like in china I implore you to watch this video made by ADVChina

Yes. Graduating from a Chinese university is almost guaranteed. It doesn't mean you can find a job, and it is nothing relevant to tests done on 15 yo kids.
BTW, Chinese universities have two graduation certificates, one called certificate of graduation, the other called certificate of diploma.
If one fails too much, one will get only one of them, which can lead the person to be discriminated by a potential employer.

Basically, students in China commit suicide over highschool it's that difficult.

Only top students have that sort of ego. Most less good ones are more cheeky. Like me, I constantly failed tests from primary school to college.

Meanwhile the United States, which has almost all the top schools in the entire world, is "13th" on the list.

Yet I was able to earn a PhD in US with full tuition remission and extra stipend to cover all living cost.

The one and only advantage chinese have is great memory.

A convenient bonus for living in China. Six years in the US, I lost most of my English vocabulary. I used to use words like a politician, now I use words like Donald Trump.

In the west we are made to memorize poems, they are easier to remember if they rhyme, we do it in one class, and on occasion.

As if K12 education in China doesn't.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Education News
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2019, 03:24:52 am »
I will not for a second believe that China has all 4 first places, it is likely the teachers simply given the answers to the students. :-DD
...
...
Basically, students in China commit suicide over highschool it's that difficult, if they do well they go to college, once in college they do practically nothing, 99% graduation rate from universities.

Meanwhile the United States, which has almost all the top schools in the entire world, is "13th" on the list,
...
...
The one and only advantage chinese have is great memory, and that stems from the nature of their language, they basically have to memorize the characters each of which is a complete word, and CORRECT combinations of which you have to remember too, for example CAT HEAD EAGLE (猫头鹰) means an OWL, if you mix those characters and write HEAD CAT EAGLE -- nobody will understand what you are saying. In the west we are made to memorize poems, they are easier to remember if they rhyme, we do it in one class, and on occasion, chinese basically never stop training their memory...
...
...

re "...I will not for a second believe that China has all 4 first places..."
They did not have 4 first places.  Four locations in China took the test and that combination is taken as the China non-SAR score.  They did seperate out the SARs namely Hong Kong and Macao.

re "...Basically, students in China commit suicide over highschool it's that difficult, if they do well they go to college, once in college they do practically nothing, 99% graduation rate from universities. ..."
And what do we do in College?  We made the SAT easier and accept students to university in part or largely based on any other factor but the ability to succeed.  They then go major in "Whatever Studies" that will do nothing in advancing themselves in a society based on technology.  A few of those would went on to be a professor of "whatever studies department" to propagate the next generation of useless studies, and many more would went on to be a barista with a college degree.

re: "...Meanwhile the United States, which has almost all the top schools in the entire world, is "13th" on the list..."
We were 19 (reading) in 2016, when our universities were a more serious places of studies.  For much of the last decade, we were out of the top 15.  So 13 is an improvement, but  I think our improvement is probably due to adjustments to PISA:the same adjustments done to SAT...  "...To make SAT more accessible to the disadvantage..."

We (USA) in 2018 spend over $22,000 (median) $10,000 (average) per student per year in high school.  In a 2017 report from National Center for Education Statistics, "In 2015, the United States spent $12,800 per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student on elementary and secondary education, which was 35 percent higher than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of $9,500 (in constant 2017 U.S. dollars)"

How on earth do we spend the most and not even top 10?  We have no excuse for doing so poorly.  The more we spend on education federally, the worst we did.  I think it is time that we try to return to basics - get federal government out of education and let those nearest to the problem solve the problem.

re:"...The one and only advantage chinese have is great memory, and that stems from the nature of their language, they basically have to memorize the characters each of which is a complete word, and CORRECT combinations of which you have to remember too..."
Memorizing order of words is true across many languages.  Even the English that we are using.  However, studies have shown that written Chinese being a pictogram based language is indeed different than language such as written English that is based on phonetics.  Image and sound are processed by different parts of the brain, so indeed there could be some impact in how a "Chinese brain" works vs an "English brain."  As to whether that is an advantage or not, I do not have the expertise to say.

That said, I can however add that being bilingual is advantageous over being mono-lingual.  When I am seriously stumped by a problem - be it in solution or be it validating a solution, I often re-describe the problem in Chinese Cantonese.  Often I get an entirely different perspective went when described and thought through in Cantonese vs in English.  It is almost like getting a second opinion - two different views of the same problem all by my own lonesome.  Unlike the movie "Arrival (2016)", it doesn't give you the ability to know the future however...

We all better work a lot harder and smarter or we will have a hard time rather soon.
or... we can just sit and relax, when they are on top of everything, we can just clone them, buy their second hand goodies etc... and later we (i mean you americans) can be the smartest (dragon awaken) kids again. life is merry go round..

That would be sweet revenge for many....  But should we get to that point, I wonder if we would clone them as you suggested, or, AI will make things so cheap that average IQ with average knowledge people would be nearly useless.  We could be unable to afford anything other than subsistence necessities.

EDIT: Typo correction : when, not went
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 04:03:20 am by Rick Law »
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Education News
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 03:39:54 am »
..if you mix those characters and write HEAD CAT EAGLE -- nobody will understand what you are saying.
yeah? indeed, brain will be wired differently based on what they have learnt (linguistics) from childhood.. try to make this out if you can without looking at the pictures... or do another "PISA" test to anybody around by simply saying the words and ask what it means... https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-chinese-translation-fails/ simply... your strength will be on what you have trained yourself at... say, if you train yourself to drink beer, thats what you'll gonna get... ps: i recently read the UNI-T UTG962E manual, the english translation is about ok, just a bit of hillariousness, except when reaching the AWG's specification, there is one property called "Shake" took me sometime to figure out what, it should be "Jitter" or at least thats what i think it is...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 03:43:06 am by Mechatrommer »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Education News
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 03:59:20 am »
The one and only advantage chinese have is great memory, and that stems from the nature of their language, they basically have to memorize the characters each of which is a complete word, and CORRECT combinations of which you have to remember too, for example CAT HEAD EAGLE (猫头鹰) means an OWL, if you mix those characters and write HEAD CAT EAGLE -- nobody will understand what you are saying.
This is nonsense. Learning Chinese is not that much different from learning English. Each Chinese character represents a syllable of spoken language. You make up the Chinese characters from components, called radicals, just as you make up syllables from a few letters in English. Then you make up more complex words by combining 2 or 3 characters or syllables, just as you do in English.
 


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