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New PISA analysis provides strategies which teachers can use in the classroom

11 September 2015

NFER today releases a series of reports, commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), showcasing new findings from PISA 2012, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and highlighting key engagement strategies that teachers can use in the classroom.

Cognitive Activation in Maths focuses on the teaching of Cognitive Activation, and how this is related to achievement. Cognitive Activation is about teaching pupils strategies, such as summarising, questioning and predicting, which they can call upon while solving maths problems. It identifies short, medium and long-term strategies which teachers can utilise for using Cognitive Activation in the teaching of Mathematics.

This research provides evidence that teaching practices which challenge pupils to reflect upon given mathematical problems and give them the opportunity to choose their own processes when faced with problems that have no obvious solution, will foster pupils’ critical thinking about Mathematics and have the potential to improve attainment.

Tackling Low Performance in Maths explores the links between pupil attitudes and behaviours, such as motivation and perseverance, and low attainment in Maths. It analyses the characteristics of those pupils who were low performers in maths in PISA, and identifies key strategies for overcoming some of the behaviours and attitudes associated with low performance.

England’s performance in PISA 2012 in Science and problem-solving was better than its performance in Maths and reading. The evidence from PISA shows that good attendance and a positive attitude towards school are strong indicators of the likelihood of being a high performer. What can we Learn From England’s High Performance in Science and Problem-solving? includes examples of useful engagement strategies that aim to maximise and enhance pupil engagement in their learning and provide the best possible opportunities for successful, active learning to take place.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is used by governments around the world to compare results of differing education policies and provides a wealth of information which informs educational policy.

More information on these reports: