Equity in mathematics and science outcomes: characteristics associated with high and low achievement on PISA 2006 in Ireland

Gilleece, Lorraine and Cosgrove, Jude and Sofroniou, Nick (2010) Equity in mathematics and science outcomes: characteristics associated with high and low achievement on PISA 2006 in Ireland. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8 (3). pp. 475-496. ISSN 1571-0068

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Equity in education is a key concern internationally; however, it is rare that this issue is examined separately for low- and high-achieving students and concurrently across different subject domains. This study examines student and school background characteristics associated with low and high achievement in mathematics and science on the Programme for International Student Assessment. Based on the results of a multilevel multinomial model of achievement for each domain, findings indicate that a greater number of the variables examined are associated with low rather than high achievement. At student level, home language, intention to leave school early, socioeconomic status, grade level, cultural capital, and books in the home are significantly associated with achievement in mathematics and science. At school level, only school average socioeconomic status is statistically significant in the models. Significant gender differences are found in the distribution of high and low achievers, which vary across the domains. In mathematics, females are more likely to be low achievers while males are more likely to be high achievers. In science, gender interacts with early school-leaving intent whereas males intending to leave school early are more likely to be in the low-achieving group than females intending to leave early. Conclusions emphasise the need for targeting resources aimed at promoting equity in outcomes at student level as well as at school level. Future work may extend the current analyses by incorporating domain-specific variables or examining cross-country differences.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The final publication is available at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10763-010-9199-2
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2013 15:04
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2014 16:36
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/70

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