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Editorial: Opening for debate and contestation: OECD's international early learning and child well-being study and the testing of children's learning outcomes

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Diaz-Diaz, C., Semenec, P., & Moss, P.
Publication Date: 
1 Jan 2019

Abstract This special issue aims to bring critical perspectives to bear on a growing phenomenon in education: comparative assessment of educational performance using standardized measures of outcomes or ‘international large-scale assessments’. We focus on one of its latest examples: the International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study. Proposed by the Organisation for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, n.d.a) in 2012, this study is now being put into practice, targeting early childhood education and young children in particular. The articles in this edited collection offer varied critiques of this project as well as critiques of the influential role that the OECD is playing in how member countries design, implement and assess their early childhood education.


Auld, E., & Morris, P. (2019). The OECD and IELS: Redefining early childhood education for the 21st century. Policy Futures in Education17(1), 11–26

Roberts-Holmes, G. (2019). Governing and commercialising early childhood education: Profiting from The International Early Learning and Well-being Study (IELS)? Policy Futures in Education17(1), 27–40

Sousa, D., Grey, S., & Oxley, L. (2019). Comparative international testing of early childhood education: The democratic deficit and the case of Portugal. Policy Futures in Education17(1), 41–58.

Delaune, A. (2019). Neoliberalism, neoconservativism, and globalisation: The OECD and new images of what is ‘best’ in early childhood education. Policy Futures in Education17(1), 59–70.

Lin, P.-Y., & Lin, Y.-C. (2019). International comparative assessment of early learning in exceptional learners: Potential benefits, caveats, and challenges. Policy Futures in Education17(1), 71–86.

Urban, M. (2019). The Shape of Things to Come and what to do about Tom and Mia: Interrogating the OECD’s International Early Learning and Child Well-Being Study from an anti-colonialist perspective. Policy Futures in Education17(1), 87–101.

Entered Date: 
13 Mar 2019
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