国際学力調査 応用力を鍛えて向上めざせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 10, 2010)
Kids' academic ability can be improved more
国際学力調査 応用力を鍛えて向上めざせ(12月9日付・読売社説)

The decline in Japanese children's academic ability has seemingly been stopped.
 日本の子どもたちの学力低下傾向に歯止めがかかったようだ。

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday released the results of academic aptitude tests it conducted last year under the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
 経済協力開発機構(OECD)が昨年実施した国際学習到達度調査(PISA)の結果が公表された。

The PISA tests have been conducted every three years since 2000, and the latest tests were given to 15-year-old students in 65 countries and regions who had finished their compulsory education. These tests assess how students apply their knowledge in real life.
 義務教育を終えた15歳を対象に、2000年から3年ごとに行われ、昨年は65の国と地域が参加した。知識を実生活でどれだけ生かせるかを測る調査である。

In the first PISA tests, Japanese students ranked top in mathematical literacy, second in science and eighth in reading.
 日本は第1回調査で「数学的応用力」1位、「科学的応用力」2位、「読解力」8位の成績だった。

Since then, however, Japanese students had been slipping down the ladder. They ranked 15th in reading in the 2006 tests, a result that shocked Japanese educators.
ところが、その後低下の一途をたどり、前回の06年は「読解力」が15位に低迷するなど、教育関係者に衝撃を与えていた。

In the latest tests, Japanese students ranked eighth in reading, ninth in mathematics and fifth in science, showing improvement in every field.
 今回、読解力は8位に、数学、科学もそれぞれ9位、5位へと順位を上げた。

The improvement apparently stemmed from changes made to the so-called cram-free education policy of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, and schools' efforts to encourage students to read more. The education ministry must have breathed a sigh of relief at the latest findings.
 ゆとり教育路線の見直しや、読書活動の普及などに取り組んできた成果だろう。文部科学省は胸をなでおろしている。

The next academic year will usher in the full implementation of new teaching guidelines that require more content to be taught in classrooms. We hope teachers will unswervingly try to improve students' academic ability even further.
 来年度以降、教える内容を増やす新学習指導要領が全面実施される。学校現場は気を緩めず、学力の向上を図ってもらいたい。

Don't celebrate yet

However, the latest results also revealed some disturbing problems.
 ただ課題も浮かびあがった。

More than 10 percent of Japanese students were among the lowest achievers in all three academic categories. Students in this group are considered likely to have difficulty living as members of society. These figures were strikingly high among the top 10 countries and regions.
 「社会生活を営む上で支障があるレベル」とされる低学力層の割合が、日本は三つの分野とも1割を超えていた。上位10か国・地域の中では目立って高い。

Are any students being left behind because they do not understand what is being taught? It is important that teachers give meticulous attention to these students to help them learn and overcome their difficulties.
 授業内容を理解できないままの子どもはいないか。先生が細かく目を配り、つまずきを克服するまで指導することが大切である。

In exam questions that required written answers, many Japanese students simply left blank spaces.
 記述式の問題で日本は無解答が多かった。

Schools and parents need to get creative in helping children learn to express themselves. Getting children into the habit of regularly reading books and newspapers and organizing their thoughts would be one way of doing this.
日頃から本や新聞を読んで自分の考えをまとめる習慣をつけさせるなど、学校や家庭で表現力を育てる工夫を重ねたい。

Teaching methods need to be verified and improved to ensure children's academic ability improves. In this respect, the National Achievement Exams in which children are tested on their ability to apply their scholastic skills--just like the PISA tests--would be quite effective.
 学力向上には指導方法の検証と改善が欠かせない。その意味でPISAと同じ応用力を問う問題が出される全国学力テストは有効だろう。

To cut costs, the administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan only had students at schools chosen at random take these national tests from fiscal 2010. We think this policy should be dropped and the tests should be taken by all public schools, as they were in the past.
民主党政権はコスト削減を理由に抽出方式に変えたが、全員参加方式に戻すべきだ。

Shanghai top of the class

Asian countries and regions made eye-catching jumps in the rankings. Students from Shanghai, which participated in the tests for the first time as a region, topped all three fields.
 目を引くのはアジア勢の台頭だ。地域として初参加した中国の上海が全分野で1位となった。

Although the figures of Shanghai students cannot be easily compared with those of their counterparts who participated as a country, their high scores stood out. Curriculums at Shanghai schools reportedly focus on helping students improve their ability to apply their knowledge and academic skills, and they are closely linked with university entrance exams there.
他の国と単純に比べられまいが、得点の高さは際立っている。応用力重視のカリキュラムを組み、大学入試とも連動しているという。

Students from Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea also generally eclipsed Japanese students.
 シンガポールや香港、韓国も総じて日本を上回っている。

Meanwhile, head offices of some Japanese companies have begun hiring excellent Asian students. This is an age in which young Japanese now find themselves competing with rivals from foreign countries to get a job.
 アジアの優秀な学生を日本の本社で採用する企業も現れ始めた。日本の若者が各国のライバルと就業を競う時代に入っている。

Students also need to polish their ability to express themselves and communicate with others. The government has a responsibility to ensure Japan's youth can acquire academic abilities that will not be put to shame by students in other countries.
 自己表現力や対話能力も問われる。見劣りしない能力をつけさせることは国の責務だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 9, 2010)
(2010年12月9日00時58分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-12-10 08:31 | 英字新聞

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