Another slice of PISA: an interrogation of educational cross-national attraction in Australia, Finland, Japan and South Korea

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Journal Article
Compare, 2020, 50 (3), pp. 309 - 331
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© 2018, © 2018 British Association for International and Comparative Education. Cross-national attraction is the first stage in international policy borrowing and analysis of its indicators provides insight into shifts in educational policies. We analyse cross-national attraction within the media discourse on the OECD’s PISA in four countries: Australia, Finland, Japan and South Korea. Using the largest circulation English language newspapers in each of these countries (2001–2015), we analyse references to the other three countries, then expand the focus to tally all international references and map emerging patterns. Finland is the predominantly referenced country, with media attention that eclipses all other countries. The attraction to Finnish educational culture is focused on aspects beyond what is measured in PISA; and flourishes despite Finnish performance in PISA, which although strong is deteriorating. Although limited to English language media, this study finds complex, sometimes inconsistent and paradoxical, patterns of cross-national attraction that deserve further research.
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