Webinar 3 – March 18th

Webinar 3

PIAAC results: Care needed in reading reports of international surveys

Dr Jeff Evans – Middlesex University

Date: Tuesday 18th March 2014

Time: 12-1pm GMT

The release of the results from the international Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) in October 2013 created substantial interest in the media and amongst policy makers and educators. (It was followed closely by the reporting of results in December from PISA, the survey of 15-year olds, also produced by the OECD). In this webinar I will examine the sorts of statements made in reporting the PIAAC results in the media and elsewhere, in order to draw out lessons for reading international surveys of this kind. This is especially important because these ‘secondary’ sources are often the only basis for what citizens and adult numeracy workers know about the surveys.

Available on the day of the release of the international report [1], the results also include individual country report(s), e.g. [2], and access to the data itself: see


[1] OECD (2013). OECD Skills Outlook 2013.Paris: OECD. Online:


[2] OECD (2013). OECD Country Note: England and Northern Ireland (UK). Online:


JE_IPinaug_0107Jeff Evans is Emeritus Reader in Adults’ Mathematical Learning in the School of Science & Technology, Middlesex University. His research interests include: adults’ numeracy;   mathematical thinking and emotion; research methodologies in the social sciences and education; images of mathematics in popular culture.

He has been an active member of Adults Learning Mathematics Research Forum, since 1993. Some of his critical methodological work has been done with colleagues in the Radical Statistics Group. During 2008-13, he was a member of the Numeracy Expert Group for PIAAC (Project for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies), the first results of which were published by OECD in October 2013.


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