Edition 1496
13 October 2018
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Almost half of Portugal’s students can’t find country on map

in News · 07-06-2018 13:46:00 · 1 Comments

A report compiled from the results of two years’ worth of school assessment tests in various subjects, sat by children across Portugal in 2016 and 2017, has shed light on worrying findings, including that almost half of the country’s students do not know where Portugal is on a world map.

Almost half of Portugal’s students can’t find country on map

The fact that many 5th year students also had difficulty using a compass “illustrates problems in analysing and interpreting information”, the report’s authors say.
They found that of the more than 90,000 students who completed secondary school History and Geography tests last year, 45 percent were unable to locate mainland Portugal on the European continent using the compass’s collateral points. That is: they could not place the country in South-West Europe.
Using cardinal points, the report adds, only 45 percent of the 10th and 11th year students managed to correctly situate “the European continent in relation to the Asian continent, the African continent in relation to the European continent and mainland Portugal in relation to the American continent.”
Hélder de Sousa, head of the Institute for Educational Evaluation (IAVE), said the findings are not surprising.
“Given that Portugal is in Europe, this does seem to be very significant” he acknowledged, but explained: “seen in the context of the use of cartography in general, then this is an already very old problem”.
The “problem”, he adds, is not specifically regarding knowledge on the matter, but lies in the capacity students have in applying it when it is not just a matter of repeating memorised facts: “In some reports, in the analysis of secondary school Geography, one of the somewhat anachronistic things is the difficulty that students have in using cartographic information, when Geography is a subject where, par excellence, these areas should be more consolidated”, de Sousa says.
Regarding mathematics, he elaborates, students “show great difficulties with the concept of division”.
Fractions, considered core to continuity of the subject, are another Achilles Heel the report has flagged, both in the 2016 and 2017 reports.
Regarding Portuguese language, the interpretation of texts and the ability to write them correctly often appear among the problems highlighted.
Hélder de Sousa points out that the benchmarking tests and subsequent reports will vary from “student to student and especially school to school”, and aim to “improve learning processes”.

 

Comments

Biggest load of BS.
by Xana from Porto on 08-06-2018 07:54:00

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Edition 1496
13 October 2018
Edition: 1496

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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