Portugal, TIMSS & PISA

Uma possível análise do sistema educativo no séc. XXI:

Curriculum and Educational Reforms in Portugal: An Analysis on Why and How Students’ Knowledge and Skills Improved - Nuno Crato

By the turn of the century, following the dismal first results in TIMSS and PISA, the Portuguese educational system was at a crossroads. It was clear that students were not attaining minimal levels of proficiency in reading, math, science, and other basic subjects. The system needed a deep reshaping, and so changes were made. By the time the last PISA and TIMSS international large-scale surveys’ results were released in 2015, Portugal registered a quantum leap: in PISA, student achievement was above the OECD average and in TIMSS, 4th graders had higher scores in Mathematics than several usually high-performing countries, including Finland. How was this possible? To understand what happened, we need to look at what Portugal has done in the last 10–15 years. Although many different ministers from different ideological standpoints made different reforms, there is a common thread to most changes: they paid increased attention to results. This proved to be a powerful thrust for improvement, backed up by experienced teachers. However, this general thrust assumed many concrete different aspects and promoted different reforms. During the 2011–2015 period, these reforms went further and were very clear, intentional, and explicit: a clear curriculum, increased school autonomy, students’ regular assessment, vocational paths, flexibility. All this helped to prepare youngsters for an active, productive, and responsible life in the twenty-first century.