A Critical Analysis of the PISA Mathematics Tasks
Faculty of Teachers Education University of Zagreb
In this paper, the authors deal with a critical analysis of some of the problems associated with PISA testing in mathematics. First of all, the social, economic and political circumstances of the launch of the PISA project are pointed out. This is followed by an analysis of what the authors consider as very important concepts for understanding PISA philosophy, such as applicable knowledge and problem solving in a real-life situation. We compared two different ways of defining these concepts and showed what the consequences of learning and teaching mathematics are in each of the cases. The authors present the results of the research that was conducted with mathematics teachers, as well as teachers of other subjects. The research dealt with the determination of the importance and role of the mathematical tasks of the PISA test for students’ further mathematical education. The results of the research have shown that there is a significant statistical difference between the assessment provided by the teachers who do and those who do not teach mathematics. The paper also analysed some specific tasks that the students were solving in PISA tests. The authors point out some deficiencies and inaccuracies observed in the mathematics tasks on PISA tests, as well as the weaknesses of PISA testing itself.
functional knowledge; mathematical literacy; real-life situation; teaching mathematics.