The Big Improvement in PISA 2009 Reading Achievements in Serbia: Improvement of the Quality of Education or Something Else?
The PISA 2009 results in Serbia show a big improvement in reading literacy compared to 2006 – the average score is 41 points higher, which is equal to the effect of a whole year of schooling in OECD countries and represents the second highest improvement ever recorded in a PISA
study. In the present paper, we discuss potential reasons for such a big improvement based on analysis of the PISA 2009 reading achievements in different countries, with a special focus on countries from the same region (Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania). The analysis shows that the largest part of the improvement was realised
at lower achieving levels, suggesting that the dominant method of teaching in schools is a traditional method oriented towards the acquisition and reproduction of academic knowledge. Findings of data analysis support the conclusion that the improvement is mainly the result of certain contextual factors, such as higher student motivation and a high level of
official support for the PISA study in Serbia, rather than representing a real improvement in the quality of education.
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