SEA-PLM 2019 Framework

Assessment or survey framework

Mathematical literacy

Definition: mathematical literacy is a person’s capacity, given a problem in a context that is of interest or importance to them to translate the problem into a suitable mathematical formulation, to apply mathematical knowledge and skills to find a solution, and to interpret the mathematical results in relation to the context and to review the merits or limitations of those results.

There are three components:


Reading literacy

Definition: Reading literacy is understanding, using, and responding to a range of written texts, in order to meet personal, societal, economic and civic needs.

There are three components:

  • Content: text variables
    • Text format
    • Text type
  • Process: the cognitive processes readers use
    • Locate
    • Interpret
    • Reflect
    • Recognize words
  • Context: the situation in which a given text is relevant
    • Personal contexts
    • Local contexts
    • Wider-world context


Writing literacy

Definition: Writing literacy is constructing meaning by generating a range of written texts to express oneself and communicate with others, in order to meet personal, societal, economic, and civic needs.

There are three components:

  • Content (text types)
    • Narrative texts
    • Descriptive texts
    • Persuasive texts
    • Instructional texts
    • Transactional texts
    • Labels
  • Context
    • Personal contexts
    • Local contexts
    • Wider-world contexts
  • Process
    • Generating ideas
    • Controlling text structure and organization
    • Managing coherence
    • Using vocabulary
    • Controlling syntax and grammar
    • Other language-specific features (for example, character formation for some Asian languages, spelling, punctuation)


The concept of ‘literacy’ is used in these three assessment domains to emphasize that:

  • Mathematical, reading and writing skills go beyond the fundamental school application of those domains to the application of knowledge and understanding in everyday life.
  • Literacy is central to children’s ability to achieve their personal goals and to contribute to the social and economic goals of their country and region.


Global citizenship

Definition: Global citizens appreciate and understand the interconnectedness of all life on the planet. They act and relate to others with this understanding to make the world a more peaceful, just, safe, and sustainable place.

There are three content domains:

  • Global citizenship systems, issues, and dynamics
    • Interconnectedness
    • Globalization
    • Government
    • Citizenship
    • Justice
    • Human rights
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Sustainable development
    • Rule of law
    • Democracy
    • Transparency
    • Critical thinking
  • Global citizenship awareness and identities
    • Identity
    • Diversity
    • Culture
    • Society
  • Global citizenship engagement
    • Participation
    • Engagement
    • Ethics
    • Collective action
  • Attitudes and values
    • Associated with the first two content domains of global citizenship.
    • Are the focus of this cycle.
  • Behaviors and skills
    • Associated with the third global citizenship content domain.
    • Include the following:
      • Presenting ideas
      • Leadership
      • Decision-making
      • Communication
      • Advocating for improvement
Contextual or background framework
Organization of the contextual framework

The contextual framework of SEA-PLM distinguished the following levels of context:

  • The wider community
  • School and classroom
  • Home and immediate out-of-school environment
  • The individual

The status of contextual factors within the learning process was also important; these could be classified as either antecedents or processes:

  • Antecedents
    • Exogenous factors that condition the ways in which learning takes place
    • Level-specific and may be influenced by antecedents and also processes found at higher levels
    • Not directly influenced by learning-process variables or outcomes
    • Examples: socio-economic status of the student’s family, school, or home resources
  • Processes
    • Factors that directly influence learning
    • Constrained by antecedent factors and factors found at higher levels
    • Examples: opportunities for learning during class, teacher attitudes towards study tasks or students’ learning environment at home

Both antecedents and processes needed to be taken into account when explaining variation in learning outcomes:

  • Antecedent factors shape and constrain the processes of learning and hence their outcomes at each level.
  • Process factors can be influenced by the level of (existing) learning outcomes.


Overview of the contextual framework

Context of the wider community

  • There are three sub-levels:
    • Local community contexts (e.g., remoteness)
    • Regional and national contexts (e.g., educational structures, curricula, and general economic and social factors)
    • Supranational or international contexts (e.g., common cross-national practices or curricular approaches and cultural commonalities)
  • Antecedents
    • General socioeconomic development of countries, e.g.,
      • Gross domestic product per capita
      • Access to education
      • Health statistics
    • Structure of the education system is also of importance, e.g.,  
      • Length of schooling
      • Age-grade profiles
      • Educational finance
      • Structure of school education (e.g., study programs, public/private management)
      • Autonomy of educational providers
  • Processes
    • Definition of the education policy and its provision
    • Main aims and goals of the primary education
    • Place of literacy, numeracy, writing, and global citizenship in primary education curricula
    • Influence of different institutions or groups on decisions relating to those goals and aims
    • Development of teacher expertise (e.g., pre-service or initial teacher education, in-service or continuing professional development opportunities)


Context of schools and classroom

  • Antecedents
    • Characteristics of the school principal
    • Basic school characteristics, e.g.,
      • School size
      • School location
      • School climate (e.g., principals’ perceptions of the sense of belonging of students and teachers to school)
      • Private/public school management
      • School type
      • School facilities and resources
    • General professional background of teachers, e.g.,
      • Educational qualifications
      • Employment status
      • Years of experience
      • Teacher absenteeism
      • Emphasis on learning areas
      • Professional development for teachers
    • Stated school curriculum and policies, e.g., the extent to which the school has policies and procedures regarding the development of literacy and numeracy (e.g., the offering of remedial or advanced classes)
  • Processes
    • Principals’ perceptions of teaching and learning activities
    • Student involvement in learning activities at school
    • Student perceptions of classroom management, practices, and activities


Context of home and immediate out-of-school environment

  • Antecedents
    • Socioeconomic status of the home
      • Occupation and the highest educational levels of parents
      • Home resources (e.g., number of books, ICT)
      • Household possessions
      • Student participation in income-generating activities or household chores
    • Cultural and language background
      • Language spoken most frequently at home
      • Use of assessment language at home
    • Processes
      • The extent to which students receive help with homework and learning tasks from family or friends
      • Out-of-school activities (e.g., reading or civic activities)


Context of the individual

  • Antecedents
    • Characteristics of the learner, e.g.,
      • Age
      • Gender
      • Educational aspirations
  • Processes
    • Student’s self-concept in learning domains (e.g., mathematics or reading)
    • Interest in learning domains (e.g., mathematics or reading)
    • Activities related to learning domains (e.g., reading for pleasure)