Why aren’t we switching to Chinese?

It doesn’t need to be Chinese, maybe we should switch to Finnish or whatever language is spoken in one of the high performing countries on tests such as PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS,… Maybe this could make our results on those comparative tests better.

Some of you now probably think I’ve lost my mind. Why should we change the way we all speak?

At the same time maybe some of you start to wonder if the language that your environment speaks could play a role in your cognitive development. Maybe some languages are more complex and challenging? (Yes, they are)

But before you start planning to change the mother tongue of your country, the thing is: a mistake often made when discussing PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS,… is the idea that we should copy whatever the best-performing countries are doing. Those tests only show a correlation, so it’s hard to tell what actually causes those results.

It’s true, some explanations seem more reasonable than others, but purely based on such tests it will always remain an educated guess even in evaluating policies, that’s why we need different kinds of research to examine education.

 

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