The Reversal of the Flynn Effect and Its Reflection in the Educational Arena: Data Comparison and Possible Directions for Future Research and Action

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Leehu Zysberg


For years indicators of cognitive abilities and academic competencies suggested that humans’ ability to effective cope with their environment is improving (dubbed the Flynn effect). Recent evidence suggests that this trend may be turning. This study explores data obtained from the Program for International Student Assessment for an intentional sample of 9 countries over the last 6 years and suggests that indeed there is evidence of substantial decrease in students competencies and literacy in Language (writing) and Math beyond possible economical, and national factors. The relevance of the results to education and its potential implications are discussed.

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