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Title: Student characteristics and PISA science performance: Portugal in cross-national comparison
Authors: Fonseca, Jesuina
Valente, Maria Odete
Conboy, Joseph
Keywords: Pisa 2006
Explanatory variables
Scientific literacy
Science tteaching and learning;
Student attitudes
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 12 (2011) 322–329
Abstract: Problem Statement: PISA 2006 indicates that Portuguese students’ performance in science, although improving, is still lower than in most OCDE countries. What is the role of student characteristics, interests, gender and economic, social, cultural, status (ESCS) on scientific literacy scores? How does Portugal compare with some other selected countries? Purpose of Study: The study compares Portuguese students’ performance in PISA 2006 scientific literacy with that of students from the OECD, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Greece, and the USA. The study also examines students’ science interests, self-efficacy and beliefs about their own competences. Furthermore, the study identifies which student variables may help to explain performance in science. Research Methods: Our data are selected from the PISA 2006 student: (a) science performance and (b) interests and beliefs measured by the student questionnaire. In order to answer our research questions, we performed secondary analyses using hierarchical linear modeling. The 2006 PISA sample in Portugal consisted of 5109 students in 173 schools, all between the ages of 15;3 and 16;2. Findings: Change-in-score coefficients in the fitted model indicate that the ESCS effect is strongest in the USA, Finland and UK. The school-wide ESCS effect is superior to that of student ESCS and is a performance factor for all countries with the exception of Finland. Mean differences in performance tend to favor boys but, in several countries, gender does not contribute a significant change in score in the fitted models. For all countries, the general value of science, enjoyment of science and science selfefficacy are positively associated with performance. A negative association between personal value of science and performance was observed. The association of “participation in non-school science activities” with performance is either negative or non-significant. Conclusions: The constellation of associated factors differs from country to country but a few of these factors stand out as cross-nationally valid. Knowledge of both kinds of factors can be useful for the improvement of teaching/learning systems. Cross-national factors can simplify general models while the country-specific factors can help identify and target local concerns.
Description: Concurso aberto por um ano para projectos sobre o sucesso escolar.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 1877-0428
Publisher Version: doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.02.041
Appears in Collections:IE - GIDC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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