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Viktória Tóth & Mária Hercz: Estonia’s High Pisa Ranking: Reasons and Reflections Based on Estonian Source Material

The aim of this study has been to explore possible reasons for the performance gap between Estonian and Hungarian students by means of document analysis. In Estonia, there are only slight student performance differences on both a European and a global scale, whereas these differences in Hungary are significant. Compared to the strong selectivity in the Hungarian system, the Estonian education system is explicitly comprehensive, although there are signs of selection as well. Unlike the Hungarian school system, the gap-compensating capability of the Estonian system is particularly good. In Hungary, the performance gap between students and schools is significant. In Estonia, it is the latter that causes problems, but not to the same extent as in Hungary. Education in Estonia has a high value both on a traditional and a societal scale; its empowering role in social status as a lever of mobility is clear. The performance gap among Estonian students can be observed in the performance of students in a segregated Estonian- and Russian-speaking education system, the underlying social problem being the integration of the Russian-speaking population. According to related studies, the difference within the methodology of Estonian and Russian schools plays a major role in the performance gap between Estonian and Russian students. This study found that the same gap between Hungarian and Estonian students is not suited to drawing parallels to the Hungarian system – due to differences in social and historical backgrounds as well as the fact that there are two parallel, Estonian- and Russian-speaking education systems in Estonia.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 116. Number 3. 315-337. (2016)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Tóth Viktória, Pallasz Athéné Egyetem, Pedagógusképző Kar Pedagógiai Kutatóműhely, H–6000 Kecskemét, Kaszap u. 6–14. Hercz Mária, Pallasz Athéné Egyetem, Pedagógusképző Kar, H-6000 Kecskemét, Kaszap u. 6–14.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia