Assessing young people’s understanding of global issues and attitudes toward cultural diversity and tolerance

OECD proposes new approach to assess young people’s understanding of global issues and attitudes toward cultural diversity and tolerance.

15/05/2016 – Schools increasingly need to prepare young people for an interconnected world where they will live and work with people from different backgrounds and cultures. As a first step to understanding young people’s attitudes, values and knowledge of global issues, the OECD is currently working on a new test to be included in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). At the meeting of G7 Education Ministers that took place in Kurashiki, Japan, on 14 May, Ministers noted that this assessment may well provide a metric to measure progress in this area.

This PISA assessment of global competence would offer the first, comprehensive overview of education systems’ success in equipping young people to support the development of peaceful, diverse communities.

“Finding innovative solutions to escalating problems, from the depletion of natural resources to a fairer distribution of wealth and opportunity, depends on the ability of people to act creatively and ethically, and in collaboration with others.  But in many countries, social cohesion, the bedrock for collaboration, is growing weaker. The challenge now is to embed global competence in schools around the world so that young people are better equipped for today’s fast-changing, globalised world,” said Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa, who presented the report as part of the OECD’s contribution to the G7 Education Ministers’ Meeting in Kurashiki. “Global competence is the centrepiece of a broader vision for 21st Century education, shaped by three principles: equity, cohesion and sustainability.”

The assessment, developed in consultation with OECD member countries and expert advisors, would involve a test of 15-year-olds, taken alongside separate tests in reading, mathematics and science. A questionnaire would analyse students’ attitudes, such as openness, respect for others and responsibility, as well  the value they place on human dignity and cultural diversity.

The OECD’s proposal for the PISA 2018 Global Competence Assessment is available at

For more information on the OECD’s PISA Programme, see



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