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Greek PISA: Diagnostic exams for 6,000 students


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By Ministerial Decision of the Ministry of Education, the details of the diagnostic exams for students of the 6th and 3rd grade of high schools are defined

By Ministerial Decision of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the details of the diagnostic examinations for students of the 6th grade of Primary schools and the 3rd grade of High Schools are defined in subjects contained in the curricula of the cognitive subjects of the Modern Greek Language and Mathematics, for in the 2022-2023 school year, which will be carried out at national level, for the second consecutive year. The purpose of these examinations is to draw conclusions regarding the course of the implementation of the Study Programs and the degree of achievement of the expected learning outcomes. The “Greek PISA” is part of the initiative of the Ministry of Education to draw up educational policy based on measurable results of the educational system.

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The Scientific Committee, composed of members of the Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education (A.D.I.P.P.D.E.) and the Institute of Education Policy (IEP), updates the existing framework for conducting diagnostic examinations that was implemented in May 2022, and has supervision over the procedures in this year’s exams, in which open-type short-answer questions will be added, apart from the closed-type, which existed exclusively last year.

The tests will be implemented on a representative sample of at least 6,000 students on an anonymous basis, from at least 600 participating stratified sampling school units. The duration of the exam is set at 75 minutes per subject, with an internal break of 30 minutes.

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After studying and evaluating the results of the National Diagnostic Examinations (n. 4823/2021) – “Greek PISA” 2021-2022, the competent Scientific Committee (EC) formulated conclusions and proposals, which were submitted to the Minister of Education and Religions, Mr. Niki Kerameos, in order to be utilized in the context of educational policy making with the aim of improving the education provided.

The exams in question were conducted for the first time on May 18, 2022 in 554 Schools, Primary (6th grade) and High Schools (3rd grade), of all types throughout the country, with the participation of 11,411 students. The main points of the EU Report, by subject and level of education, are summarized as follows:

Regarding the Language course, it is deemed necessary to strengthen the text-centered approach of the language course with a focus on the pedagogy of polyliteracies and on the meaning of linguistic diversity and heterogeneity. Emphasis should be given to the management and organization of information, the techniques of condensing the discourse, the utilization of deepening activities as well as the cultivation of metacognitive abilities through modern teaching approaches.

Accordingly, regarding the course of Mathematics, the need to consolidate basic mathematical concepts through systematic practice in solving problems as well as the strengthening of mathematical reasoning and argumentation through shifts in teaching practice that focus on the inclusion and connection of Mathematics with the real world is highlighted people.

These conclusions were taken into account during this year’s planning of the institution. These changes concern a more rational distribution of the questions by level of difficulty in the individual thematic axes, while an important innovation is the introduction of open-ended questions, through which the course of reasoning and the possibilities of written expression of the students can be more precisely captured.

At the level of formulating educational policy proposals, it is noted that the need to strengthen students’ critical thinking, as emerged through the first application of the National Diagnostic Examinations, constitutes a dominant basis on which the promoted changes in the Greek education system are based, starting from the preparation of young Study Programs.

More specifically, the cultivation of students’ receptive skills through the development of combinatorial critical thinking, based on the exploratory approach to knowledge (at the level of linguistic and mathematical literacy), is promoted through the new Study Programs and strengthened with the introduction of “multi-book”, through which, and especially through its connection with the creation of repositories of digital learning objects, students will come into contact and direct interaction with an open digital world of knowledge and information.

In addition, taking into account the dominant role of the teacher as the driving force of the educational process, the IEP promotes a series of educational actions starting from the Pilot Implementation of the new Study Programs, which is currently in its second year of implementation, while during the current school year year, 32,000 teachers are trained in the new Study Programs.

At the same time, an active role in disseminating the findings of the research to the entire educational community will be assumed by the Education Consultants, in collaboration with the Intra-School Coordinators in the context of the organization of targeted training activities, both at the level of Education Management and at the intra-school level.

These actions aim to form learning communities to support teachers in dealing with the issues highlighted by the research, regarding learning difficulties and problems faced by students, taking into account the conclusions for the improvement of the educational work provided in view of the implementation of the new Study Programs and the “multiple” book.

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