The Significance of International Surveys on Knowledge and the National Examination of Knowledge for Evaluating Pupils’ Achievements
Dr. Mojca Štraus

Summary:  National assessment and international studies in education offer a larger spectrum of comparisons of student achievement than assessment practices at school. International studies in education emerged from the interest of many countries to obtain additional information about the educational achievement of their students and consequently about the quality of their education systems. General steps in the study are that representatives from participating countries agree on the target population of students, curriculum areas to be assessed and on the instruments to be used. The instruments are solved by the representative samples of students, usually at the same time in all participating countries. International studies in education conducted in cycles as for example PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS, are increasingly important in educational policy-making also in Slovenia. Before we can draw conclusions from the league tables of countries or from any other single number indicator one needs to be thoroughly familiar with individual procedures in the study that could impede the generalizability of the conclusion or interpretations of the results. The theme of this paper are the conceptual similarities and differences in the designs of the studies and their importance for the educational stadnard setting as well as eliciting the factors that are related to student achievement at school. At the same time it is extremely important to constantly examine the validity of conclusions from the results of data analyses for making sensible generalizations of the individual studies over wider populations and over longer time.

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Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies is
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