PISA-D Framework

Assessment or survey framework

Reading framework

Definition: Reading literacy is understanding, using, reflecting on and engaging with written texts, in order to achieve one’s goals, develop one’s knowledge and potential, and participate in society.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions:

  • Processes – the cognitive approach that determines how a reader engages with a text:
    • Retrieving information
    • Forming a broad understanding
    • Developing an interpretation
    • Reflecting on and evaluating the content of a text
    • Reflecting on and evaluating the form of a text
  • Text – the range of material that is read
    • Text display space: fixed (typical of print media) and dynamic (typical of digital media)
    • Text format: continuous, non-continuous, mixed, and multiple
    • Text type: description, narration, exposition, argumentation, instruction, and transaction
  • Situation – the range of broad contexts or purposes for which reading takes place
    • Explanation:
      • Defines texts and their associated tasks
      • Refers to the contexts and uses for which the author constructed the text
    • Includes:
      • Personal
      • Public
      • Educational
      • Occupational


Mathematics framework

Definition: Mathematical literacy is an individual’s capacity to formulate, employ, and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts. It includes reasoning mathematically and using mathematical concepts, procedures, facts and tools to describe, explain and predict phenomena. It assists individuals to recognise the role that mathematics plays in the world and to make the well-founded judgments and decisions needed by constructive, engaged and reflective citizens.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions:

  • Mathematical processes
    • Describe:
      • What individuals do to connect the context of a problem with mathematics and thus solve the problem
      • The capabilities that underlie such processes
    • Include:
      • Communication
      • Mathematizing
      • Representation
      • Reasoning and argument
      • Devising strategies for solving problems
      • Using symbolic, formal, and technical language and operations
      • Using mathematical tools
  • Content
    • Change and relationships
    • Space and shape
    • Quantity
    • Uncertainty and data
  • Contexts
    • Personal
    • Occupational
    • Societal
    • Scientific


Science framework

Definition: The ability to engage with science-related issues, and with the ideas of science, as a reflective citizen. A scientifically literate person is willing to engage in reasoned discourse about science and technology which requires the competencies to explain phenomena scientifically, evaluate and design scientific enquiry, and interpret data and evidence scientifically.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions:

  • Context – Personal, local/national, and global issues, both current and historical, demanding some understanding of science and technology
  • Knowledge – An understanding of the major facts, concepts, and explanatory theories that form the basis of scientific knowledge, including:
    • Content knowledge
    • Procedural knowledge
    • Epistemic knowledge
  • Competencies
    • Explain phenomena scientifically
    • Interpret data and evidence scientifically
    • Evaluate and design scientific enquiry
Contextual or background framework

Contextual questionnaires had at their core items from PISA to facilitate international comparisons, but also included several distinct PISA-D items that were more relevant to middle- and low-income countries. The Education Prosperity framework shaped the enhancements made to the contextual questionnaires for PISA-D. It included:

  • Prosperity Outcomes
    • (Academic performance = addressed in the assessment)
    • Educational attainment
    • Health and well-being
    • Attitudes towards school and learning
  • Foundations for Success
    • Inclusive environments
    • Quality instruction
    • Learning time
    • Material resources
    • Family and community support
  • Student-level demographic factors for assessing equity and equality
    • Gender
    • SES and poverty
    • Language spoken at home and at school
    • Urban/rural status
    • Immigrant status
    • Disability


Context factors

In addition, the questionnaires included several teacher, school and system-level background measures that provided a context for the Prosperity Outcomes:

  • Teacher characteristics
    • Age, gender, SES
    • Health and well-being
    • Qualification and educational background
    • Employment status
    • Work experience
    • Professional development activities
    • Teaching conditions (multi-grade classrooms; multiple teaching jobs or work in other jobs)
    • School leadership and job satisfaction
    • Proportion of students in class that lack the literacy and numeracy skills to learn the curriculum
  • School-level factors
    • School resources
    • School management
    • School funding
    • Teaching staff
    • School location and nearby hazards
  • System-level factors
    • Structure of national programs, national assessments, and examinations
    • Instructional time
    • Teacher training and salaries
    • Educational finance (including enrollment)
    • National accounts and population data