Three prefectures again rank highest in national achievement test this year

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced the result of its National Academic Ability Survey (National Achievement Test) for fiscal 2017 on August 28. The annual test covers elementary and junior high school students all over the nation. In terms of the average rate of correct answers, Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui prefecture ranked among top three again this year as in the past.

文部科学省は8月28日、平成29年度の全国の小中生を対象にした「全国学力・学習状況調査(全国学力テスト)」の結果を公表。都道府県ごとの平均正答率を見ると、小学生、中学生ともに上位には「常連」とも言える秋田、石川、福井3県が今年も並んだ。

 

The national test was changed in fiscal 2007 to a system requiring all students to answer the same questions after Japan’s ranking sharply dropped in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international achievement test. The reformed test, which covers all sixth graders of elementary schools and third graders of junior high schools, was conducted on April 18 this year. Those who sat for the test were approximately 1.01 million from 19,645 elementary schools and about 1.02 million from 9,982 junior high schools. They were required to answer questions in two categories: knowledge (A) and application (B).

全国学力テストは、国際的な学力調査(PISA)での日本の順位急落を背景に、平成19年度から、全児童・生徒が同じ問題を解く全員参加方式でスタート。小中学校の最高学年(小学6年生、中学3年生)全員を対象として行われているテストである。今年は、4月18日に一斉に実施。小学校では19、645校、約101万人の児童、中学校では9、982校、約102万人が参加。テスト内容は、小中ともに「知識(A)」と「活用(B)」の2種類の問題が出題された。

 

Both elementary and junior high school students from certain prefectures constantly keep better scores every year. They are from Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures. In this year’s test, Akita again ranked top in Japanese language A and B for both elementary and junior high schools. Ishikawa came out top in both Japanese language B and mathematics A and B for elementary schools and in Japanese language A for junior high schools. Fukui took the highest score in both Japanese language A and mathematics A and B for junior high schools. What efforts do the schools in those prefectures make to keep their good performances?

このテストで、小中ともに毎年のように上位の成績をおさめる県がある。秋田、石川、福井の各県である。今回も秋田県が小中の国語ABで1位。石川県が小学国語Bと算数AB、中学国語A1位。福井県は中学国語A、中学数学ABで1位となった。これら上位常連の県では、どのような取り組みがなされているのだろうか。

 

Akita has been promoting a small-group instruction system featuring smaller classes and team teaching since 2001, even before the start-up of the national achievement test. Moreover, it has been conducting its own “learning survey” since 2002. Ishikawa, in collaboration with Kanazawa University, launched a research system to tally and analyze test results after receiving the results of the national achievement tests for the three years from 2007 to 2009. Furthermore, the prefecture has been improving the learning environment and its quality by establishing what it calls “12 Articles on Learning + (plus)” aimed to enhance the students’ level of academic ability.

秋田県は全国学力テストが実施される前の、平成13年から少人数学級やティームティーチングによる少人数授業を推進しており、平成14年からは同県独自の「学習状況調査」を行ってきた。また、石川県では平成19年度から21年度の3年間に行われたテスト結果を受け、金沢大学と連携し、テスト結果の集計や分析を行う研究体制を構築。児童生徒の学力向上に向け、「学びの12か条+(プラス)」を制定し、学習環境とその質の向上に取り組んできたという。

 

Fukui has analyzed the results from the annual national achievement tests and compiled a collection of cases clarifying teaching methods with a view to identifying the questions for which the rates of correct answers were particularly lower in the past.

さらに福井県は、これまでに全国学力テストで得られた結果を分析し、正答率が低かった問題を克服するために、指導方法を明確にした事例集を作成。

 

What is common to the three prefectures is that they all analyze the results of the national achievement tests and their own academic ability surveys, find and sort out all relevant problems, set up definite goals and feed teaching methods back to the schools and teachers.

これら上位3県に共通するのは、全国学力テストや独自に行う学力調査の結果を分析し、課題を洗い出し、明確な目標を立てたうえで指導法を教育現場に落とし込み、実施しているという点にあると思われる。

 

According to the August 28 edition of the Sankei Shimbun, Professor Fumio Imai of Tokyo Gakugei University’s Graduate School of Education, commented on this year’s test results, “Schools now make it a rule to examine and utilize the outcome of the national tests and some prefectures produce good results by learning the teaching methods adopted by higher-ranking prefectures.” What is clear from his remarks is that education to enhance the students’ academic ability needs to be based on their learning conditions and tendency. Many prefectures may learn much from the methods employed by Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures.

8月28日付の産経新聞によると、東京学芸大教職大学院の今井文男特命教授は、今回の調査結果を受けて「学校現場では調査結果を検討、活用することが定着し、上位県に指導方法を学ぶことで成果を上げた県もある」と述べている。この発言からもうかがえるように、学力向上のためには児童・生徒の学習状況・傾向を踏まえた教育が必要であり、多くの都道府県で上位の県の学習法を参考にしてもらいたいと思う。(Written by: Yuto Yawata)(八幡 侑斗)

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