Since 2001, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) has been conducting, in cycles of five years, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). The PIRLS program encompasses trend studies designed to monitor progress in reading achievement in an internationally comparative context. PIRLS 2001 and PIRLS 2006 both assessed primary school students in their fourth year of schooling (Grade 4 in the majority of countries). Progress in Reading Literacy in National and International Context is the second book to explore the influence of findings from the PIRLS surveys on different education systems. It presents a compilation of insights from 12 of the 35 countries that participated in PIRLS 2006. These insights relate to the impact of PIRLS on the systemic, governmental, administrative, and school-level aspects of the education systems featured and exemplify how PIRLS has influenced research initiatives, policy development, and national capacity-building. The primary aim of this book and its predecessor (Progress in Reading Literacy: The Impact of PIRLS 2001 in 13 Countries, edited by Knut Schwippert and published in 2007) has been to explore the opportunities that PIRLS' findings hold for the development of education systems. Five of the 12 countries participating in the current impact of PIRLS project contributed to the 2001 project. For these countries, the current book provided opportunity to view, from a longitudinal perspective, the transformative processes initiated in response to the findings of both surveys. The book thus provides in-depth information on the various aspects of the national education systems represented herein that have originated, been restructured, or otherwise been modified as a direct or an indirect consequence of the results of the 2001 and 2006 PIRLS surveys. The book also gives a brief overview of the design, implementation, and main international findings of PIRLS 2001 and 2006. These introductory chapters are followed by country chapters, each of which is written by authors with unique insider perspectives gained from their work in their home institutions within their national contexts. Findings from these chapters are assembled in a comparative summary.
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