The preschool PISA: A new paradigm of children’s assessment in early childhood education

Efstratia Sofou, Magdalena Jiménez Ramírez


The aim of this article is to review, discuss and critique the OECD’s International Early Learning and Child Well-Being Study (IELS), as a new standardised international evaluation for children’s education, which could be seen as a PISA test at preschool level. The article analyses the predominant discourse of quality in child education in which new global policies suggest what is best for children, and offers a review of the OECD’s previous work in the field of child education. We present the main criticisms of the IELS project, its possible consequences, and its impact on educational policy and practice. In our conclusions we emphasize that, although research is necessary in the field of child education in order to identify the remaining challenges, the IELS is not the best way forward, inasmuch as it involves the risk of accepting its findings made by quantitative methods as a representation of reality, without subjecting them to the different questions and interpretations of each national context.


Preschool PISA; quality in education; assessment; OECD; early childhood education


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Copyright (c) 2020 EFSTRATIA SOFOU, Magdalena Jiménez Ramírez


Contact EPAA//AAPE at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College