PISA 2018 and equity: in Estonia all students can succeed

The 2018 PISA results  published recently confirm that Estonia is one of the most performing educational systems in the world. Not only are Estonian students exceeding the OECD average number of high achievers, but also, the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students is low, making the Estonian system one of the most equitable worldwide.  

As reported in the PISA country note, «In Estonia, socio-economically advantaged students outperformed disadvantaged students in reading by 61 score points in PISA 2018. This is smaller than the average difference between the two groups (89 score points) across OECD countries. In PISA 2009, the performance gap related to socioeconomic status was 59 score points in Estonia (and 87 score points on average across OECD countries)».

In 2018, intrigued by the previous 2015 PISA results, NEPC led and implemented the EU funded BRAVEdu project, designed to analyse Estonian policies and practices to derive conclusions from the measures that contribute to the Estonian success, with the aim of advocating for similar interventions in other countries.

The consortium involved in the project remarked that the Estonian educational system is characterized by a high degree of autonomy, shared leadership, cooperative and supportive relationships and collaborative problem solving, an active role of students in the school governance, an array of extracurricular activities and an accurate screening of students’ needs, within the frame of social and educational universal policies and practices.

The project resulted in the Education and Socio-Economic Status – Estonian Case report and in the handbook Breaking the poverty taboo – creative ideas for mitigating the effects of poverty: school-based activities, both open access publications fully available on-line.

BCSM language readers can also check the article reflecting on the topic, written by NEPC’s Petra Jurlina for a Croatian-based scientific news portal.

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