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Spanish pupils 'one of world's most accepting' of foreigners and different cultures, says PISA study
23 October 2020 @ 10:58

SPANISH teenagers are among the most 'respectful and accepting' of other cultures and nationalities in the world, scoring well above the average for developed countries as a whole, according to the latest PISA study.

Criticisms of the annual Global Competence 'health check' on compulsory education about how it only evaluated academic achievement – in maths, literacy and sciences – and overlooked other 'hugely important' and more qualitative, social issues have borne fruit, and now, the PISA study takes into account attitudes towards migration, including culture, religionr, languages, countries of origin, and their views on rights and integration.

Spain scored 512 points – 13 more than the average for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which covers all developed and some emerging nations on earth.

It was only beaten by Canada (554) and the UK (534), although several regions in Spain scored higher than the national average: Castilla y León came out top with 534 points, Asturias with 527 and Cantabria with 526.

The lowest were the Spanish-owned city-provinces of Ceuta (438) and Melilla (473) on the northern Moroccan coast, and the lowest-scoring on the mainland was the land-locked western region of Extremadura, whose points total nevertheless was exactly that of the OECD average, at 499.

In the latest PISA study, researchers asked: “Are students ready to prosper in an interconnected world?”

Responses, as every year, are those of 15-year-olds, but the data can be easily extrapolated to other age groups and does not just mean only pupils aged 15 are respectful and accepting of other cultures: The PISA presupposes that showing these attitudes a year before their compulsory schooling ends means they must have developed over their childhood and early teens, and are likely to prevail from 16 onwards.

Spanish pupils showed 'a significantly greater interest than the OECD average in learning about other cultures and respecting people with a different cultural background', although their attitudes were 'less positive' about other 'global issues' – undefined, but which could range from anything from world politics to capitalist systems, for example.

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