Leveraging large-scale assessments for effective and equitable school practices: the case of the nordic countries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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One of the primary goals of educational research is to identify effective and equitable school practices that aim to promote desired educational outcomes for all students, regardless of their background. This pursuit raises the question of why certain countries or schools demonstrate more favourable outcomes than others. To shed light on this question, this special issue delves into the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) as a showcase. Despite their similar historical, cultural, and economic characteristics, these countries show vastly different levels of student outcomes. This special issue comprises seven studies that utilize data from the international large-scale assessments (PIRLS, TIMSS, and PISA), leveraging their international comparative design and nationally representative student samples. The present article provides an overview of the seven included studies by underlining the key themes that transcend them as well as their contributions and implications. These themes include the measurement of educational effectiveness with international large-scale assessments, the central role of teachers, and the importance of both cognitive and non-cognitive student outcomes in studying different perspectives on effective and equitable school practices.