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2013年12月 5日 (木)

国際学力調査 「脱ゆとり」が生んだV字回復

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 5, 2013
Departure from cram-free education key behind higher academic ability
国際学力調査 「脱ゆとり」が生んだV字回復(12月4日付・読売社説)

The education ministry’s departure from its previous cram-free education policy has apparently resulted in a sharp recovery in the academic ability of Japanese children. The results of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest academic achievement test can be regarded as an indication that the ministry’s effort to change its education program has accomplished what it set out to do.
 「脱ゆとり」教育によって、学力がV字回復を果たした。教育施策を見直した効果が表れたものと言えるだろう。

On Tuesday, the OECD unveiled the results of its Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) worldwide survey for 2012. The PISA survey covers 15-year-old students, an age group at the end of compulsory education.
 経済協力開発機構(OECD)が、義務教育修了段階の15歳を対象に、昨年実施した国際学習到達度調査(PISA)の結果を公表した。

Japan was ranked fourth among 65 nations and territories in reading performance and scientific applied skills, and seventh in mathematical applied skills.
 平均得点で見ると、日本は参加65か国・地域の中で、「読解力」と「科学的応用力」が4位、「数学的応用力」が7位だった。

Since it debuted in 2000, the PISA survey has been carried out every three years. Japan achieved favorable results in the inaugural PISA assessment. However, the nation’s ranking in reading performance plunged to 14th in 2003 and 15th in 2006. Japan’s ranking improved slightly in the 2009 survey. The outcome of the latest PISA assessment points to an improvement in both the average scores and rankings of Japanese students in all three categories.
 この調査は2000年以降、3年ごとに行われている。日本は1回目は好成績だったが、03年と06年の調査で読解力が14、15位に落ち込んだ。09年調査で改善の兆しが見られ、今回、3分野ともに平均得点、順位が上昇した。

A probable factor behind the improved performance of Japanese students is an attempt by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to shift the focus of its policy from pressure-free education in 2008. In revising its official teaching guidelines that year, the ministry increased the volume of study content and the number of class hours.
 成績アップの背景として考えられるのは、文部科学省が08年の学習指導要領改定で、ゆとり教育からの転換を目指し、学習内容と授業時間を増やしたことだ。

The ministry’s new policy attached greater importance to providing lessons aimed at improving the ability of primary and middle school students to think and express themselves through such activities as debates and report writing. Since 2007, the ministry has also conducted nationwide academic achievement tests in the hope of encouraging teachers and school administrators to examine and improve their teaching methods.
 小中学校で討論形式やリポート作成といった、思考力や表現力を育む授業が重視されるようになった。教育現場に指導の検証・改善を促す目的で、07年以降、全国学力テストも実施されている。

It is important that steady progress be made in these efforts to help students fully assimilate what they have learned and further improve their academic skills.
 こうした取り組みを着実に進め、学力の定着とさらなる向上を図ることが重要である。

What was noteworthy about the latest PISA results was an increase in the percentage of high achievers in mathematics, reading and science among Japanese students, combined with a decline in the percentage of low-achieving children in these subjects.
 今回注目したいのは、数学、読解力、科学のすべての分野で、成績上位層の割合が増え、下位層の割合が減った点だ。

Key factor behind success

The education ministry believes the nationwide use of a method aimed at teaching students according to their level of proficiency was a key factor behind raising the overall level of Japanese students’ academic ability.
 生徒の理解度に応じてグループ分けする習熟度別指導の全国的な普及が、学力水準を底上げするのに役立ったのではないか、と文科省は分析している。

However, in a survey covering the attitude of students, taken alongside the PISA assessment, it appeared that Japanese students have less interest in mathematics than their counterparts overseas.
 一方、同時に行われた意識調査では、日本の生徒の数学に対する関心が国際的に見て低い実態が浮かび上がった。

This was evident from a questionnaire about whether respondents were interested in what they learned in mathematics. The percentage of Japanese students who answered positively was the fourth-lowest.
 例えば、「数学で学ぶ内容に興味がある」と答えた生徒の割合は参加国中、下から4番目だった。

Japanese students also fared poorly in the percentage of children who found it worthwhile to learn mathematics as a means of expanding the scope of possibilities in their future jobs. Those who agreed it would help them ranked second from the bottom in the survey.
「将来の仕事の可能性を広げるから数学は学びがいがある」と思う生徒の割合も2番目に少ない。

This attitude was also noticeable in the results of a Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study conducted in 2011.
 同様の傾向は、一昨年に実施された国際数学・理科教育動向調査でも確認されている。

These results are worrisome as the country seeks to prosper on the strength of its ability to create new technology.
日本が「科学技術創造立国」を目指す上で気がかりな結果である。

We hope educators will use their imagination to teach mathematics and science in a manner that will help students recognize that learning these subjects is an enjoyable experience while also letting them know that knowledge gained from studying these areas is extremely useful when they start out in the world. By doing so, educators should stimulate their intellectual curiosity. All these measures will help produce future workers who will achieve great things in the field of science and technology.
 数学・科学の面白さや、実社会における有用性を伝え、生徒の知的好奇心を刺激する授業を工夫してもらいたい。それが、科学技術分野で活躍する人材を数多く育てることにもつながろう。

It is also important to improve the skills of educators by enhancing the quality of teacher training courses at colleges and universities and training programs for people already teaching students on a daily basis.
 教師の資質を高めるために、大学の教員養成課程や教育現場の研修を充実させることも大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 4, 2013)
(2013年12月4日01時50分  読売新聞)

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