Why do East Asian children do so well at PISA?

I found this blog via this BBC article and it again shows how difficult comparing educational systems can be. It’s a good idea to look at eg Chinese students in the Australia, still they are again not the same as Chinese pupils in China.
Great read!

John Jerrim

It is no secret that East Asian children excel at school. For instance, 78 percent of ethnic Chinese children obtain at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades, compared to a national average of just 60 percent. (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/280689/SFR05_2014_Text_FINAL.pdf). Yet, despite some very interesting qualitative work by Becky Francis (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2011/feb/07/chinese-children-school-do-well), we still know very little about why this is the case.

I explore this issue in my new paper (http://johnjerrim.com/papers/) using PISA 2012 data from Australia. Just like their counterparts in the UK, Australian-born children of East Asian heritage do very well in school – particularly when it comes to maths. Infact, I show that they score an average of 605 points on the PISA 2012 maths test. This puts them more than two years ahead of the average child living in either England or Australia. They even outperform the average child in perennial top PISA performers…

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