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Old 13.12.2013, 01:21
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

http://www.americanprogress.org/issu...united-states/

I feel that this article could be of interest to some people in this tread.
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Old 14.12.2013, 12:02
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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As for the rankings, I'm not sure how the bias in those measurements is toward English speaking countries-the metrics used are teaching environment, research output, industry income, and international outlook. None of these sound skewed towards "speaks English" to me.

As for the university system, if you choose the "right" metric, yes, the Swiss universities do better. However, I'm not sure what relevance graduate salary has to the overall reputation of a university (and I say this as a formerly underpaid PhD student). Also, I'm not sure how a school's ability to hire Nobel prize winners matters much either, as most people will tell you that once they've won the prize, their periods of innovation are largely over.

Research output looks wouldn't put the ETH at the top of the list, and it doesn't score overly high in anything except for "international outlook," which reflects the reality here-the majority of the research leader positions are held by foreigners.
There are quite a few well known and researched biases:
1) Only publications in English journals are taken into consideration (while not all good research is published in English)
2) Ivy league schools cross-reference each other ("name leading university in field xyz") and naturally omit universities abroad they haven't heard of despite their qualities

Both are very important factors in ranking universities, all the points I mentioned above (actual measurable output of universities) are not even taken into consideration:

- Academic Peer Review 40%
- Global Employer Review 10%
- Citations Per Faculty 20%
- International Student Ratio 5%
- International Faculty Ratio 5%
- Faculty Student Ratio 20%

Which leads to the absurd result that American engineering in many fields is decades behind German, Austrian and Swiss engineering but the schools that educate these world leading experts are nowhere to be seen on the rankings. And yes, American colleges love to hire Nobel laureates, but what about considering who educated them rather who employs them now? Seems a much more sensible metric to me.

But perhaps we are just talking about different things. When I talk about a good University I primarily think about its ability to educate highly skilled and employable professionals, and not so much its reputation, glamour and ability to attract worldwide talent. And so yes, I think graduate salaries matter, because if high salaries are an indicator of how competitive the employer is despite the very high costs, to which the highly skilled employees certainly contribute.
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I do think that the Swiss system has it's strengths, but one problem with the emphasis on conformity is that it doesn't produce students who are passionate, engaged and ambitious. My personal suspicion is that this is due to the Swiss ideal of "well-rounded" students-which would marginalize those who are spectacular at science but poor at languages or excellent in their subjects but who have poor social skills (and these combinations are far more common than someone who excels in all academic and social situations, obviously). This seems pretty well reflected at the ETH, at least, where the talent is largely imported, starting with PhD students. However, overall, the level of student "happiness" as measured by employment, at least, is clearly higher.

On the other end of the spectrum, the US system produces many students who overestimate their abilities, but also seems able to encourage the truly gifted, especially finding places for the "lopsided" students. It's one reason why the US system incites so much emotion-the ability to foster talent seems built in, but also invites blame toward those students who don't excel.

I'm not arguing that either is better, rather that both systems have something to learn from each other. Certainly a system that produces so many ill-prepared students needs to become more pragmatic. However, a system that is roundly criticized for selecting students based on factors other than ability, as well as being seen as inflexible (by both unbiased studies as well as emotional reactions) also has some adaptation to do.
I have studied both here and abroad during high school and later my university years, and to be honest I just don't really know what you mean when you mention emphasis on conformity or well-rounded rather than specialized college education. That may be true of high school where there is too strong an emphasis on languages, but certainly not Universities. A maths students at ETH certainly doesn't have to be able to dance or sing, he can be as passionate and single-minded about his talent as he wants. Likewise, a sociology student is almost bound to live and hopefully excel in this social sciences bubble that universities are so good at creating. On the very first day at Uni ZH we were told that we're the future elite, that we'll conquer the world and all that pep talk I would have exected only at an Ivy league school... but hey..

So I'm not refuting your impressions, going through the education system here I've never truly felt I had to conform much, and I'd be surprised if I could have gotten away with all the stuff I did elsewhere..
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Old 14.12.2013, 12:54
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

I think one issue here is that your bias is apparently toward engineering/applied sciences, and mine is toward basic sciences. I certainly don't get the impression that the ranking of, say, the ETH is unduly low compared to other institutions, based on what I've seen in the basic sciences. Also, in these fields, publications are almost exclusively in English and are certainly not in German. Apparently there's still a language issue in engineering, though I was unable to find anything in the THE rankings that explicitly said what you're claiming (that only English language journals are included). Still, if that's the issue (and if Swiss universities focus on the applied science rather than basic), then I can see how this would be a bias.

Also, this, rather than intentional cross-referencing across Ivy Leagues, might explain why there's less recognition of the ETH. I'd never heard of it during my PhD or undergrad studies-but I wasn't in engineering.

The conformity is something I've observed at the ETH, where students are very uncomfortable with questioning the opinions of their advisors or devising their own research directions. They're clearly smart and hard working, but they'll do what they're told whether or not it makes sense (and even if it obviously does not make sense). The idea that they're supposed to become experts in their fields, and stand up for their own research, is something I've been trying very hard to drill into them, with frustratingly little success. However, these are basic science students, and it's a small sample.

Conformity is also something we're starting to see at the Kindergarten level (with my own child), and is something that is a fairly common complaint among parents in my circle. Granted, we're a bunch of maladjusted science geeks, and probably hyperaware of our children's educations, but it's an observation. I've actually been surprised at how many children I know who will be held back in Kindergarten (and clearly not for academic reasons, but universally for issues with "compliance.") I truly hope we're outliers in this (and again, small sample), and that we're overreacting. It's honestly too soon to tell.

As for educational goals, clearly the US and the Swiss systems are different. That's simply a matter of preference. Mine (biased toward the US system) is that kids have plenty of time to have jobs and responsibility later and four years of a broad education that can give them the resources and connections and confidence to make their own way (in research, in the world, in a job, whatever) has intrinsic value. Another, equally valid opinion, is that wasting those four years (and they're expensive!) is just that-a waste when those kids could (and should) be preparing for adult life.

Just as a side note-the future leaders talk seems much more prevalent here-kids are very proud to be graduating from the ETH, and mention it very quickly. I don't think that Ivy League kids are told they're the future leaders or will conquer the world-there's more of a feeling of guilt or responsibility to change the world for the better, and the ol' alma mater is something that's just not brought up in casual conversation.

So, I guess I'm not refuting your views either, and I do hope that you're more right than me.
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Old 16.12.2013, 04:30
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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I think one issue here is that your bias is apparently toward engineering/applied sciences, and mine is toward basic sciences. I certainly don't get the impression that the ranking of, say, the ETH is unduly low compared to other institutions, based on what I've seen in the basic sciences. Also, in these fields, publications are almost exclusively in English and are certainly not in German. Apparently there's still a language issue in engineering, though I was unable to find anything in the THE rankings that explicitly said what you're claiming (that only English language journals are included). Still, if that's the issue (and if Swiss universities focus on the applied science rather than basic), then I can see how this would be a bias.

Also, this, rather than intentional cross-referencing across Ivy Leagues, might explain why there's less recognition of the ETH. I'd never heard of it during my PhD or undergrad studies-but I wasn't in engineering.
ETH is actually fairly well-known and ranked, it's around #20 in most rankings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academi...d_Universities

I also don't think it deserves a massively higher ranking either, it's just that a lot of these top American Universities should be replaced with much better performing European Universities. A good indication of this is the number of Nobel laureates who graduated from a University. It's clear that places like Harvard and Cambridge deserve their top ranking, with an impressive list of laureates, but suddenly you have German and French Universities among the top 20 which are nowhere to be seen (or rather poorly ranked) in the WHE rankings.. and if that metric alone would be used as an indicator of the quality of base research (which I'm not suggesting) then a lot of Ivy league schools should be significantly downrated.

So I'm suggesting the bias is not at the very top but most prominent between the ranks 10-50 where mostly American Universities excel at trying to get good rankings with huge teams hired solely for that purpose, which is not mirrored in the real quality of their output.
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Old 16.12.2013, 16:54
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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ETH is actually fairly well-known and ranked, it's around #20 in most rankings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academi...d_Universities

I also don't think it deserves a massively higher ranking either, it's just that a lot of these top American Universities should be replaced with much better performing European Universities. A good indication of this is the number of Nobel laureates who graduated from a University. It's clear that places like Harvard and Cambridge deserve their top ranking, with an impressive list of laureates, but suddenly you have German and French Universities among the top 20 which are nowhere to be seen (or rather poorly ranked) in the WHE rankings.. and if that metric alone would be used as an indicator of the quality of base research (which I'm not suggesting) then a lot of Ivy league schools should be significantly downrated.

So I'm suggesting the bias is not at the very top but most prominent between the ranks 10-50 where mostly American Universities excel at trying to get good rankings with huge teams hired solely for that purpose, which is not mirrored in the real quality of their output.
Why Nobels as a measure of quality education? Especially considering that it's similar to any other award in that its often less for merit than for consensus and, they don't give prizes to projects with more than 3 principles (among many other contentions with the Swedish prize selection committee over the years). I've had the pleasure of studying with and under a few laureates but, then again, I also had to try and walk one rather notable prize winner through Microsoft BOB years ago while he was on holiday and blasted on whiskey. I was thinking, WTF, this isn't rocket science. Also, a lot of laureates are smart folks who utterly suck at teaching. They bring prestige and grant money, but not a lot of bang for the undergrad buck.

Most of these rankings are based on how people rank them, not the metrics of who graduates from them and what they go on to do in life as I think a lot of colleges and universities would be bankrupt if that information were to be made available. In other words, it's a popularity contest and pretty useless in terms of what actually goes on behind the ivy covered buildings.
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Old 16.12.2013, 17:27
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

And speaking of Harvard....apparently Nobel laureates don't make you immune from bombs. Apparently Harvard has been locked down this morning due to 4 possible bombs in Sever, the science center and 2 others. Thankfully I'm not in the blast radius.....
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Old 16.12.2013, 18:29
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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ETH is actually fairly well-known and ranked, it's around #20 in most rankings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academi...d_Universities

I also don't think it deserves a massively higher ranking either, it's just that a lot of these top American Universities should be replaced with much better performing European Universities. A good indication of this is the number of Nobel laureates who graduated from a University. It's clear that places like Harvard and Cambridge deserve their top ranking, with an impressive list of laureates, but suddenly you have German and French Universities among the top 20 which are nowhere to be seen (or rather poorly ranked) in the WHE rankings.. and if that metric alone would be used as an indicator of the quality of base research (which I'm not suggesting) then a lot of Ivy league schools should be significantly downrated.

So I'm suggesting the bias is not at the very top but most prominent between the ranks 10-50 where mostly American Universities excel at trying to get good rankings with huge teams hired solely for that purpose, which is not mirrored in the real quality of their output.
I guess I'm then not following the argument of a language bias, since that would seemingly encompass all non-English speaking Universities and therefore the ETH shouldn't escape this bias.

As for Nobel laureates, I have to agree with poptart that the amount of money a school has to bring in laureates (and lots of them get poached from where the work was actually done) isn't necessarily a good measure of an education. These people are usually well past their prime research years when they win, and are not universally good teachers (one might even suggest that there's a negative correlation.
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Old 17.12.2013, 05:35
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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I guess I'm then not following the argument of a language bias, since that would seemingly encompass all non-English speaking Universities and therefore the ETH shouldn't escape this bias.

As for Nobel laureates, I have to agree with poptart that the amount of money a school has to bring in laureates (and lots of them get poached from where the work was actually done) isn't necessarily a good measure of an education. These people are usually well past their prime research years when they win, and are not universally good teachers (one might even suggest that there's a negative correlation.
I think you two are not properly reading my posts.
I explicitly stated that the number of Nobel laureates hired is not a good metric to measure quality of the school or teaching, rather that the number of Nobel laureates who were educated or researched at the University could be an indicator (again, not suggesting only metric) of the quality of teaching and research performed at the University.

But as you state poptart:
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Most of these rankings are based on how people rank them, not the metrics of who graduates from them and what they go on to do in life as I think a lot of colleges and universities would be bankrupt if that information were to be made available. In other words, it's a popularity contest and pretty useless in terms of what actually goes on behind the ivy covered buildings.
This is exactly why I think a lot of European (including Swiss) Universities are lot better than their International ranking suggests.
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Old 17.12.2013, 06:19
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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The OECD has just released the results from the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) programme. As in each 3-year period, they tested 15-year-old school pupils performance in reading, science and mathematics. This time the main focus for was mathematics.

The pupils from Switzerland made the top 10 in the mathematics score and achieved the best results of all Western (in the culturual sense) countries behind Liechtenstein. Here the top 10 and their respective average score (OECD average 494):
  1. Shanghai-China 613
  2. Singapore 573
  3. Hong Kong-China 561
  4. Chinese Taipei 560
  5. Korea 554
  6. Macao-China 538
  7. Japan 536
  8. Liechtenstein 535
  9. Switzerland 531
  10. Netherlands 523

This is how the tests are performed:
To the luck of Switzerland, this Test was not done in 1965 and did NOT include ME, as I would have brought Switzerland to the deepest bottom

Reading -- writing -- history -- geography ? There, I would have brought our place here to the top ranks

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Old 17.12.2013, 06:24
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Re: Pisa Results Educational Standards Switzerland

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What's 1 + 1?


äääääää..... next question please
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Old 17.12.2013, 11:20
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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I think you two are not properly reading my posts.
I explicitly stated that the number of Nobel laureates hired is not a good metric to measure quality of the school or teaching, rather that the number of Nobel laureates who were educated or researched at the University could be an indicator (again, not suggesting only metric) of the quality of teaching and research performed at the University.
Ha! You're right, I didn't read it very carefully.

However, do you really think that the undergraduate education of a Nobel Laureate is the defining factor in that person's future career? I certainly don't. University is not generally where these people start the research that is going to earn them the Nobel Prize, it's generally when they begin their postdoctoral research. The people who are winning their prizes now may or may not have done postdoctoral research, but in any case you'd be judging the merit of a school, oh, half century ago.

Example: Randy Schekman just got the Nobel in Physology or Medicine, and he graduated from UCLA in 1971, where he spent his first two years as a premed student (and his third year abroad). He did a four year PhD at Stanford (and worked on DNA replication-not what he won the prize for) and moved to Berkeley in 1976, where he has been ever since. So, which University should count him? UCLA (premed studies/biology) Stanford or Berkeley (where he's been for decades)?

I guess you'd argue that UCLA and Stanford would be credited for "training" a nobel prize winner. Maybe in the case of Stanford (especially since he worked with Kornberg, also a Nobel prize winner), doubtful for UCLA.

If you're arguing that the place where the nobel-prize winning work was actually done, I'm still not buying it, simply because as both Poptart and I said, Nobel Prize winners aren't necessarily good teachers. Schekman happens to be both a nice guy and a good teacher, but he's hardly the norm.

The other problem is that Nobel prize winners are relatively rare and don't have broad influence on, say, an entire biology undergraduate class, certainly not by the time they've won. Rather, they tend to focus on the education of a relatively small group of PhD students. At best, you could say that Schekman, who would win in the future and is a good teacher, contributed to Berkeley being a top University for Biology in the 1980s and 1990s. That's nice to know, of course, but that's hardly relevant for rankings in 2013.
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Old 18.12.2013, 04:31
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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However, do you really think that the undergraduate education of a Nobel Laureate is the defining factor in that person's future career? I certainly don't. University is not generally where these people start the research that is going to earn them the Nobel Prize, it's generally when they begin their postdoctoral research. The people who are winning their prizes now may or may not have done postdoctoral research, but in any case you'd be judging the merit of a school, oh, half century ago.
I don't think it's as easy to dismiss the importance of the undergrad and postgrad education of a Nobel laureate - otherwise you'd be in trouble explaining the huge difference between colleges even within the Ivy league. Some have dozens of laureates who graduated from their programs, others hardly any. And then there are the hundreds of colleges worldwide that never had the "luck" to graduate any future laureate. This correlation cannot be denied and is therefore a useful metric for students who one day wish to participate in leading research.
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Old 18.12.2013, 11:48
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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I don't think it's as easy to dismiss the importance of the undergrad and postgrad education of a Nobel laureate - otherwise you'd be in trouble explaining the huge difference between colleges even within the Ivy league. Some have dozens of laureates who graduated from their programs, others hardly any. And then there are the hundreds of colleges worldwide that never had the "luck" to graduate any future laureate. This correlation cannot be denied and is therefore a useful metric for students who one day wish to participate in leading research.
Postdoctoral work, sure, we agree. And as I said, you could make an argument for PhD work. Undergrad? That I seriously doubt.

One issue with the Ivies is that they're not the same type of school just repeated over and over. Brown and Yale are far more "artsy" than Harvard or Princeton. Students are routinely admitted to one Ivy but not others-unlike here, there's no ticket to any US University. Finally, even by luck, Harvard should have a significantly bigger share of Nobel prize winners...because it's bigger-about twice the entering undergrad class of Yale and Princeton, and bigger PhD/MD programs as well. So, is bigger better?

Also, correlation, maybe (if we ignore the size and the differences in philosophies regarding these institutions). Causation? That certainly hasn't been proven, especially in the case of undergrad work. One could argue that very smart people are drawn to the very universities whose rankings you find objectionable, for example. Also, who counts more? The single prize winner or the hundreds or thousands of other students who attended the same school? Finally, any Nobel prize winner will tell you (well, any that has a reasonably sized ego) that luck was a huge factor in his or her prize. This is luck in the research direction as well as a bit of luck regarding who actually gets included in the prize (which is a bigger issue in modern science. There are no more Watson and Cricks...and even in that case, there is a lot of controversy surrounding Franklin).

Also, you still haven't addressed the big issue, which is that even if causation could be proven, you're still ranking a university by what happened two generations ago-at least. If you want a total Nobel count, then you're talking about the whole history of the institution, or hundreds of years. The consensus, for example, is that the status of biology in France is seriously declining and that Asia is rising (though, of course, not without issues and dissent on both sides). These wouldn't be reflected in Nobel Prize counts.

I guess that Nobel prizes could be a lovely marker for the history of an institution, but it still has limited value as a measure for how well a school is doing today.
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Old 18.12.2013, 15:09
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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I think the age here is a possible issue:

PISA is actually given to students aged 15 years and 3 months to 16 years and 2 months at the time of the test (not at a specific grade level, by the way).
This is correct. However...

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Since the test is only given to students who are in full-time education, older 15 year olds and 16 year olds in this group should be primarily those who are continuing their education (higher performing children). In contrast, compulsory schooling in the US and UK ends later (between 16 and 18), with virtually all students in this age group (15-16) being in full-time education. So, this is one level of bias.
… is simply and utterly wrong.

Ladies and Gents,

if you would have taken a bit more time (and perhaps some integration efforts such as language improvements, perhaps?) then you would have easily found out that:
"Um die Vergleichbarkeit der Schulleistungen zwischen den Ländern zu gewährleisten, ist es von zentraler Bedeutung, vergleichbare Stichproben zu erstellen. Aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Strukturen der Bildungssysteme in den teilnehmenden Ländern können die Zielpopulationen für die Stichproben nicht durch eine bestimmte Klassenstufe definiert werden. Damit trotzdem valide Vergleiche zwischen den Ländern möglich sind, werden Schülerinnen und Schüler einer bestimmten Altersstufe getestet.

PISA wählt als Zielpopulation die Schülerinnen und Schüler, die zum Zeitpunkt der Erhebung im Alter von 15 Jahren und 3 Monaten bis zu 16 Jahren und 2 Monaten sind. Aufgrund der Wahl dieser Altersgruppe lassen sich die Schulleistungen von Schülerinnen und Schülern kurz vor Ende der obligatorischen Schulzeit international und im Zeitverlauf vergleichen.

Für die Erhebung 2012 werden in der Schweiz die Schülerinnen und Schüler mit Jahrgang 1993 der folgenden Bildungsinstitutionen einbezogen:

- Schulen des 7., 8., 9. und 10. Schuljahrs der Sekundarstufe I;

- allgemeinbildende Schulen der Sekundarstufe II wie Gymnasien und Fachmittelschulen;

- Berufsfachschulen der Sekundarstufe II."

see: http://pisa.educa.ch/de/stichproben-0
In short: As requested by the PISA study the random samples are taken from pupils of about (see above) 15 years attending all kind of schools (mandatory secondary schools, further education (gymnasiums and higher vocational schools), and vocational schools). So conclusively the sample is statistically correctly (as far as possible) distributed, of course.

So there is no bias about a too heavy load of gymnasium or not, there is no bias regarding too many pupils being in vocational training (in fact there is no vocational training in Switzerland without any additional school education). So this random sample only missed the 3.8% (page T6.3, column Q, row 111 in http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...ent.162304.xls) who (non-intentionally) fell out of the nation-wide education/vocational path (http://www.edk.ch/dyn/16833.php)! So this 3.8% puts the possible statistical error to quite low levels, I would say (besides the general problem of a good sample distribution everybody faces).

In other words: your whole (overly-)engaged discussion so far was rather futile and - to a large extend at least - a waste of time. - Well, the same way as it is a basic and fundamental truth in science (work), the same it is true exactly for every factual discussion: preparation is everything, otherwise your results/statements/conclusions/"insights" (based on a wrong basis/wrong assumptions) are not relevant, at all … and they are "nicht das Papier wert, auf dem sie geschrieben sind" … or freely translated: not worth the administration costs to maintain such a forum here. ;-)


So please, please, be careful with your (chauvinistically?) biased prejudices and your search for self-fullfiling prophecies, please!

You can assume that such surveys in Switzerland are not conducted for establishing a (even?) better promotion of our own country, but for real interests about how to improve and maintain the whole situation. There is no need to put us higher than we are, we are small enough to know about relativity … how unimportant absolute figures are!

And besides assumably too low access to higher education, please consider this:

"90% of young people in Switzerland complete upper secondary education at the age of 18 or 19 which allows them to start working, to switch to a college of higher vocational training or – with a matura/baccalaureate – to continue their education at a university." see also, again: http://www.edk.ch/dyn/16833.phpThe reality is most of the time much more diversified than you probably are able to imagine!


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Old 18.12.2013, 15:17
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

Dear Husky,

Please direct your rant toward the author of the study quoted, S.J. Prais, or the publication which published the scholarly article from which the argument was taken. It's called the Oxford Review of Education.

Reference here:
http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/progr...a/33680693.pdf

Cheers,

Your Chauvanist, and utterly cooperative, fellow ladies and gentlemen.

PS: If you'd read the thread a bit further, you would have seen that this issue was discussed and dropped on page 3. We're on Nobel Prize winners now.

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This is correct. However...



… is simply and utterly wrong.

Ladies and Gents,

if you would have taken a bit more time (and perhaps some integration efforts such as language improvements, perhaps?) then you would have easily found out that:
"Um die Vergleichbarkeit der Schulleistungen zwischen den Ländern zu gewährleisten, ist es von zentraler Bedeutung, vergleichbare Stichproben zu erstellen. Aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Strukturen der Bildungssysteme in den teilnehmenden Ländern können die Zielpopulationen für die Stichproben nicht durch eine bestimmte Klassenstufe definiert werden. Damit trotzdem valide Vergleiche zwischen den Ländern möglich sind, werden Schülerinnen und Schüler einer bestimmten Altersstufe getestet.

PISA wählt als Zielpopulation die Schülerinnen und Schüler, die zum Zeitpunkt der Erhebung im Alter von 15 Jahren und 3 Monaten bis zu 16 Jahren und 2 Monaten sind. Aufgrund der Wahl dieser Altersgruppe lassen sich die Schulleistungen von Schülerinnen und Schülern kurz vor Ende der obligatorischen Schulzeit international und im Zeitverlauf vergleichen.

Für die Erhebung 2012 werden in der Schweiz die Schülerinnen und Schüler mit Jahrgang 1993 der folgenden Bildungsinstitutionen einbezogen:

- Schulen des 7., 8., 9. und 10. Schuljahrs der Sekundarstufe I;

- allgemeinbildende Schulen der Sekundarstufe II wie Gymnasien und Fachmittelschulen;

- Berufsfachschulen der Sekundarstufe II."

see: http://pisa.educa.ch/de/stichproben-0
In short: As requested by the PISA study the random samples are taken from pupils of about (see above) 15 years attending all kind of schools (mandatory secondary schools, further education (gymnasiums and higher vocational schools), and vocational schools). So conclusively the sample is statistically correctly (as far as possible) distributed, of course.

So there is no bias about a too heavy load of gymnasium or not, there is no bias regarding too many pupils being in vocational training (in fact there is no vocational training in Switzerland without any additional school education). So this random sample only missed the 3.8% (page T6.3, column Q, row 111 in http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...ent.162304.xls) who (non-intentionally) fell out of the nation-wide education/vocational path (http://www.edk.ch/dyn/16833.php)! So this 3.8% puts the possible statistical error to quite low levels, I would say (besides the general problem of a good sample distribution everybody faces).

In other words: your whole (overly-)engaged discussion so far was rather futile and - to a large extend at least - a waste of time. - Well, the same way as it is a basic and fundamental truth in science (work), the same it is true exactly for every factual discussion: preparation is everything, otherwise your results/statements/conclusions/"insights" (based on a wrong basis/wrong assumptions) are not relevant, at all … and they are "nicht das Papier wert, auf dem sie geschrieben sind" … or freely translated: not worth the administration costs to maintain such a forum here. ;-)


So please, please, be careful with your (chauvinistically?) biased prejudices and your search for self-fullfiling prophecies, please!

You can assume that such surveys in Switzerland are not conducted for establishing a (even?) better promotion of our own country, but for real interests about how to improve and maintain the whole situation. There is no need to put us higher than we are, we are small enough to know about relativity … how unimportant absolute figures are!

And besides assumably too low access to higher education, please consider this:

"90% of young people in Switzerland complete upper secondary education at the age of 18 or 19 which allows them to start working, to switch to a college of higher vocational training or – with a matura/baccalaureate – to continue their education at a university." see also, again: http://www.edk.ch/dyn/16833.phpThe reality is most of the time much more diversified than you probably are able to imagine!


.. How do you usually say: Thank you for your corporation.

-----------

"SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL" ... not invented by me!

Last edited by swiss_in_training; 18.12.2013 at 15:28.
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Old 18.12.2013, 15:33
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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Dear Husky,

Please direct your rant toward the author of the study quoted, S.J. Prais, or the publication which published the scholarly article from which the argument was taken. It's called the Oxford Review of Education.
Unconsidered reproduction of statements does not improve wrong and badly researched statements, neither, independent of from where the original statements come from!


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PS: If you'd read the thread a bit further, you would have seen that this issue was discussed and dropped on page 3. We're on Nobel Prize winners now.
... which is even more unrelated and futile IMHO to the original statement/title of this thread.

Cheers, as well.
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Old 18.12.2013, 15:44
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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Unconsidered reproduction of statements does not improve wrong and badly researched statements, neither, independent of from where the original statements come from!




... which is even more unrelated and futile IMHO to the original statement/title of this thread.

Cheers, as well.
Yes, having a rational discussion in which multiple parties present information and discuss, reaching a reasonable conclusion from both sides, is totally futile. :roll eyes:
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Old 18.12.2013, 18:39
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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On the very first day at Uni ZH we were told that we're the future elite, that we'll conquer the world and all that pep talk I would have exected only at an Ivy league school... but hey..
Explains some of the arrogance I have experienced in Switzerland

Ultimately it is not only the education or number of degrees and abbreviations beside one's name that counts, but what one actually does with it in the end...and what one "gives back"
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Old 18.12.2013, 20:53
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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if you would have taken a bit more time (and perhaps some integration efforts such as language improvements, perhaps?) then you would have easily found out that:
Your quoted text is German. In some parts of Switzerland it is perfectly possible to speak no German at all and be fully integrated as the official language is not German. You can find more information here.

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In short: As requested by the PISA study the random samples are taken from pupils of about (see above) 15 years attending all kind of schools (mandatory secondary schools, further education (gymnasiums and higher vocational schools), and vocational schools). So conclusively the sample is statistically correctly (as far as possible) distributed, of course.

So there is no bias about a too heavy load of gymnasium or not, there is no bias regarding too many pupils being in vocational training (in fact there is no vocational training in Switzerland without any additional school education). So this random sample only missed the 3.8% (page T6.3, column Q, row 111 in http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...ent.162304.xls) who (non-intentionally) fell out of the nation-wide education/vocational path (http://www.edk.ch/dyn/16833.php)! So this 3.8% puts the possible statistical error to quite low levels, I would say (besides the general problem of a good sample distribution everybody faces).
That is a useful information, thank you.


Quote:
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In other words: your whole (overly-)engaged discussion so far was rather futile and - to a large extend at least - a waste of time. - Well, the same way as it is a basic and fundamental truth in science (work), the same it is true exactly for every factual discussion: preparation is everything, otherwise your results/statements/conclusions/"insights" (based on a wrong basis/wrong assumptions) are not relevant, at all … and they are "nicht das Papier wert, auf dem sie geschrieben sind" … or freely translated: not worth the administration costs to maintain such a forum here. ;-)


So please, please, be careful with your (chauvinistically?) biased prejudices and your search for self-fullfiling prophecies, please!
The discussion has so far been very interesting, matter-of-factly and mostly unemotional. This tone is completely uncalled for. You want something in German? How about that:

"Der Ton macht die Musik"
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Old 18.12.2013, 22:37
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Re: Switzerland in top 10 in 2012 PISA survey (mathematics)

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Not at all, but Switzerland does need to import all that many foreigners. Denying or ignoring that is plain arrogance, as the rest of your post.
Oh sure, Switzerland had and has to import masons, carpenters, taxi-drivers, train-drivers, cleaners, shop-cashiers

Switzerland, just as some other European countries is hit by the demographic problem, which means that the "babyboomers" generation born between 1945 and 1960 is gradually fading away into retirement, and the people of the post-1960-born anti-baby-pills generation is simply not as numerous and so unable to replace the retirees.

You may have a look at Italy. Problems in Italy ? Maybe, but the number of children in Italy has receded so much that the Italian industry is waiting for illegal immigrants which generally rather swiftly get legalized

Add to this, that many highly qualified Swiss emigrate in order to go ahead with the career or/and simply to enjoy the world. Switzerland in the past three or four centuries has heavily profited from returnees and still does. Many get their education here back home, then go to act abroad, and much later return.

You see, Swiss universities do NOT instruct their students how to breed
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