[ASC-media] Australian Scientific Literacy results in the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006

Van Tiel, Michael Michaelv at PHM.GOV.AU
Mon Dec 10 02:30:31 CET 2007

Media Release from the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA)


Australian Scientific Literacy results in the OECD Program for
International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006


PISA 2006 was conducted in 57 countries with almost 400,000 students
participating in assessments that measured scientific literacy as the
major domain.


Results released from the PISA 2006, indicate that overall Australian
15-year old students perform well in comparison to many of our OECD
counterparts. Although the overall results indicate high levels of
scientific literacy in our students, it is of concern that 13% of
Australian 15-year olds fell below a scientific literacy 'baseline' set
by the OECD and are considered to be at serious risk of not being
adequately prepared to participate in the 21st century workforce or to
contribute as productive future citizens. Certain disadvantaged groups
performed particularly poorly on Scientific Literacy, with 40% of
Australia's Indigenous students, 27% of students in remote schools and
23% of students from the lowest socio-economic quartile in Australia
performing at a level below the OECD baseline.


The President of the Australian Science Teachers Association, Mr Paul
Carnemolla said the overall results indicated what fine work Australian
science teachers do with limited support. However with an increasingly
diverse student population and mounting pressure on teachers and
schools, it is anticipated that such results cannot be maintained
without significant additional support for teachers of science. Indeed
the disappointing results by some students indicate the immediate need
for greater teacher support, especially for those teaching significant
numbers of disadvantaged students.


Australia's future in the knowledge economy is highly dependent on
building and maintaining a scientifically literate population. Teachers
are the key and they need quality and targeted professional development
to ensure that all students receive an effective and engaging learning
experience in science. No organization has a greater awareness of the
needs of the science teaching profession, nor a greater understanding of
how those needs can be best addressed. The Australian Science Teachers
Association would welcome the opportunity to work with the newly elected
Federal Government to ensure a scientifically literate future for


Media Contact:    Paul Carnemolla, President, Australian Science
Teachers Association

Phone: 0409 930-299

paul.carnemolla at asta.edu.au

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


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