Join the study on the media representation of the PIAAC results

Mary Hamilton, a co-director of the Lab and expert on PIAAC media representation, welcomes researchers to join a study on media PIAAC coverage as the OECD releases the 2016 results of Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey.

The OECD will release the results of the second round of PIAAC surveys of adult skills on June 28th.  As well as results for individual participating countries, there will be a report integrating the findings from the first and second round surveys and a webinar presented by Andreas Schleicher. When the first round results were released back in October 2013, I tracked the media coverage with colleagues to see how the findings were being presented and interpreted in the UK and beyond. Keiko Yasukawa, Jeff Evans and I produced an article analysing media coverage in Japan, the UK and France. This was published as Yasukawa , K. Hamilton, M. and Evans, J. (2016) A Comparative Analysis of National Media Responses to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills: Policy Making from the Global to the Local? Compare, 1-15 and a summary of the findings is here: Yasukawa et al

Now, with support from members of the Lab for International Assessment Studies we plan to carry out a similar study for the round two surveys. The earlier article was based on data collected by members of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre and the Research and Practice in Adult Literacy (RaPAL) who compiled links to media reports and posted these on the website. We also drew on the newspaper databases NEXUS and FACTIVA and monitored Twitter and online news sites to get a fuller picture. We looked at the information about the PIAAC findings provided by the OECD which included an overall report integrating the findings, individual country notes and a technical report and we compared these sources with the information highlighted in the national media coverage.

From this experience we learned quite a bit about the process of doing this kind of research. The immediate coverage of PIAAC turned out to be much less extensive than for PISA, with most news items appearing in the first two or three days. However, the complexity of interconnected media sources, both print and digital and how stories circulate through them makes sampling and collecting media items – especially for a comparative study – very challenging. We also realized that the research is much more robust if it is carried out by people who have solid first-hand experience of the media and policy context in the countries being studied so this time we are keen to find collaborators based in the countries themselves. The countries in the 2nd round are a much smaller group comprised of Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey.

We are interested in finding collaborators who will collect newspaper and online articles that refer to the PIAAC findings in their country during the week following the release of the findings and write a short report about them which would answer the following questions. These are based on the findings from our earlier research:

  1.        What results are presented in the media (rankings, country scores, within country group differences such as age or gender)?
  2.        What policy issues are drawn from the results?
  3.        Do the reports simply summarise or extract from the OECD country notes, or is there an attempt to provide richer interpretations?
  4.        What reference countries are mentioned (positive and negative), and is the general tone of the results positive or negative?
  5.        Is the survey methodology mentioned or critiqued in the reports? 

Depending on what comes out of this exercise we could think about writing one or more journal articles between interested collaborators but there would be no obligation to do this.

If you have knowledge of or contacts in any of the round 2 countries and would be interested in joining with us in this study, please get in touch with me.      twitter @mryhmltn

Copious information about the PIAAC can be found at

The US based PIAAC gateway has many resources and links:

You can register for the webinar with Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, to present the findings of Skills Matter – Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills.(June 28, 2016 at 12h Paris time.)