Canadian students among world's most educated in science
Findings show Canada, Japan, Estonia and Finland are the four highest-performing OECD countries.
Published Tuesday, December 6, 2016 12:34PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 6, 2016 1:38PM EST
Canadian students are among the world's most educated when it comes to science, according to an annual survey measuring education levels in 72 different countries.
Canada tied Finland for fourth overall in the 2015 ranking compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which measured math, science and reading levels in 540,000 randomly-selected 15-year-olds. Only students in Japan, Estonia and Singapore fared better than Canadian students, according to the report.
Bonnie Schmidt, president and founder of Canada's Let's Talk Science, called the results a "wonderful" reflection of Canada's education systems, particularly in the field of science.
"I think we're actually paying more attention to science," she told CTV News Channel on Tuesday, suggesting that the survey results bode well for Canada's future, as the global economy becomes more technology-focused.
She credited Canadian teachers for their efforts, but acknowledged that more must be done to encourage students to go into science careers.
"We need to pay more attention to the S.T.E.M. disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math," she said.
Schmidt added that she's thrilled to see the survey showing boys and girls in Canada equally interested in the sciences. However, she pointed out that that interest still seems to be divided into gender-specific streams.
"Girls tend to see themselves in the health sciences areas, boys tend to see themselves in engineering, and nobody seems to see themselves in (information communication technology) careers," she said.
The study evaluated 15-year-old students' performance in science, math and reading. It also measured equity among boys and girls, immigrant students and children from different social backgrounds.
Canada scored higher than the 72-country OECD average in all six categories.