PISA results show dropping maths abilities

Danish students still produce second-best PISA results in Nordics despite dropping performance in mathematics

Danish students have maintained their reading and science skills but have worsened at mathematics, according to the latest PISA results.

PISA measures the capabilities of 15-year-old students in 65 countries and economies and is published every three years.

According to the latest results, Danish school children were average performers in 2012 at science and reading, and – despite a slight drop – remained above average at mathematics.

In the overall rankings, Denmark came in at number 22 on the list of 65. The OECD average in maths was a mean score of 494, in reading it was 496 and in science 501. Denmark was above the OECD average in maths with a score of 500, equalled the OECD average in reading and was just below the science average with a score of 498.

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Declining math skills
“Even though we meet or are above the international average, we want to make our schools even better,” the education minister, Christina Antorini (S), stated in a press release. “The PISA results show that we are facing a challenge developing the weaker students and maximising the potential of stronger students.”

Antorini pointed out that the recent education reform will increase the number of hours of mathematics and Danish lessons.

READ MORE: With children back at school, parents wary of upcoming reform

Gender imbalance
The results also showed that boys performed better at mathematics and science than girls, which Antorini wants to challenge.

“A longer and more varied school day with more hours dedicated to specific subjects and supervised learning will give schools the opportunity to strengthen the teaching for all students – both boys and girls,” Antorini said.

Denmark was the second-best performer of the Nordic countries behind Finland, and followed by Iceland, Norway and Sweden, though the performance of children in all five countries has declined over the past decade.