Interpreting PISA - Understanding national educational improvement - the case of Portugal

Interpreting PISA - Understanding national educational improvement - the case of Portugal

Nuno Crato seminar
Date: 24 Nov 2020 Venue: Online
Time: 12:30 - 13:30
Type: Seminar Fee: Free

How an ambitious curriculum, aligned assessment, and focus on all students improved education in Portugal.

Portugal has been highlighted as a particular success story in curriculum and educational reform. This success can be seen in the country’s leap in PISA scores. But for a sound understanding in public policy we need to be clear about what caused which improvement, and when.

To help provide this clarity, Tim Oates CBE will introduce Professor Nuno Crato OIH, former Minister of Education and Science in Portugal (2011–2015), who will share his insights at this Cambridge Assessment Network seminar.

Professor Crato will trace progress back to specific policy measures and some longer trends. He will describe recent periods of Portuguese education changes and will maintain that good national results need a good and clear curriculum, school autonomy, regular assessment, support to all, vocational paths, and flexibility. 

This will be explained against the backdrop of a recent comparative study of 10 countries’ results in PISA.

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Our seminars are an important part of what we do as the Assessment Network. Through inviting authoritative voices in education to share their expertise, our aim is to inform and stimulate debate on current issues in assessment and education policy.

As well boosting your CPD, these free events are an opportunity to ask questions and share insights with other professionals from the wider education community and around the world!

About the speaker

Speaker Professor Nuno Crato

From 2011 to 2015 Nuno Crato was the Education and Science Minister of Portugal, taking office as an independent minister after a scientific and educational career. 

During his tenure, compulsory schooling was extended from nine to twelve years, English was made mandatory for seven consecutive school years, the dropout rate was reduced from c. 25% to 13.7%, retention rates improved, and Portuguese students achieved the best results ever in international surveys. In fourth grade Mathematics in TIMSS, Portuguese students scored higher than those from traditionally better ranked countries, such as Finland. And in PISA, 15-year-old students scored over the OECD average for the first time, and in all three domains.

Nuno is now a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the Lisbon School of Economics & Management of the University of Lisbon. He has a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Statistics and worked as a college professor and researcher in the US before returning to his native Portugal.

His research focuses on stochastic models, time series, and applications on financial, computational, biological, social, and education issues problems. He has served as a dean at the Technical University of Lisbon and president of Taguspark, the largest science and technology park in Portugal.

These larger seminars organised by Cambridge Assessment could become a significant focus of interest for the education and wider community dealing with the most urgent and deep rooted concerns."

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