Northern Lights on PISA 2006

Differences and similarities in the Nordic countries

image of Northern Lights on PISA 2006

The Next Big Thing? Trends Shaping Nordic Innovation is written for people interested in and working with the issues of innovation, economic development, globalisation and climate change, and how these issues impact on companies and industries, and in national or in international settings such as Nordic co-operation or the European Union. The book argues that innovation needs to measured and managed. Innovation needs to be developed as a serious management discipline in order to deliver on the future expectations of investors whether these investors are from private companies or public government agencies. The publication also argues that there is a need to emphasise that research is not the same as innovation, and that we need to distinguish between science and the “scientific method” in order to develop better innovation policies and innovation management techniques. In the final focus chapter on climate change the book states that the Nordic region has a strong position within some of the new energy and environment industries. Yet, in order to keep that position and to stay in the global vanguard of clean technologies and climate industries, it might be necessary for the Nordic countries to experiment with what the authors call “forced innovation”. The book is relevant for industry branch organisations, company managers, policy makers, public policy professionals as well as graduate and undergraduate courses in management, innovation, entrepreneurship, globalisation and climate change.



Science Performance: The Nordic Countries from an International Perspective

The present chapter presents and discusses some central findings regarding scientific literacy in PISA 2006. Various aspects of scientific literacy, as they are defined in the PISA framework, are first carefully described. What follows is a presentation of how the Nordic countries scored on the various cognitive science scales. The focus is partly on comparison between the Nordic countries, and partly on a comparison with the OECD average. In addition to comparing scale scores between countries, gender differences (within and between countries) are also of interest and will be discussed. Further, it is of particular interest in PISA to establish scales that provide valid and reliable trend measures between PISA data collection every three years. From a methodological point of view, there are challenges related to such trend measures, but nevertheless such measures are focused on here (with due respect to the limitations), simply because they are very important and illuminating from the viewpoint of educational policy. More detailed analyses, reflections and explanations can be found in the national reports for the Nordic countries (Egelund et al, 2007, Hautamäki et al 2008, Halldorsson et al 2007, Kjærnsli et al 2007, Skolverket 2007).


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