Today we continue our focus on global learning metrics during the lead up to the inaugural CIES symposium, which will take place in Scottsdale, AZ from November 10-11.

The past shows in this mini-series have focused broadly on global learning metrics: We’ve looked at the history and value of learning metrics for the perspective of national governments; we’ve examined the power of tests like PISA; and we’ve heard critiques of policy borrowing and outcome-based approaches to education that rely on learning metrics and their subsequent rankings.

But we haven’t yet looked at some of the questions on the tests that form the proxies for global learning metrics.

My guest today is Dr. Inés Dussel, Researcher and Professor at the Department of Educational Research, Center for Advanced Studies and Research (DIE-CINVESTAV) in Mexico.

She argues that global learning metrics are not culturally sensitive and uses examples from her work on digital literacy to show why.

Inés critiques PISA for taking a narrow focus of learning as only related to cognitive skills — the ability for students to read or write or problem solve. By contrast, she takes a broad view of learning, which encompasses not only cognitive skills but also a collection of interpersonal and social skills. Of course, these latter skill sets are nearly impossible to measure in one school let alone worldwide using universal metrics.

And this is the crux of the issue: how can global learning metrics measure any skill set across so many different contexts and cultures worldwide?

Photo credit: La Nación