Gilleece, Lorraine, Cosgrove, Jude, & Sofroniou, Nick
Equity in Mathematics and Science Outcomes: Characteristics Associated with High and Low Achievement on PISA 2006 in Ireland
Educational Research Centre; St. Patrick’s College
Examines student and school background characteristics associated with low and high achievement in mathematics and science on the Programme for International Student Assessment.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
International Journal of Science and Mathematics E
Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 475-496
- In the case of mathematics, females were significantly more likely to be in the low-achieving group than males and significantly less likely to be in the high-achieving group
- Males intending to leave school early were 3.23 times more likely to be in the low compared to the medium group. The corresponding odds ratio for females is considerably lower, at 1.74. Conversely, females intending to leave school were 0.46 times as likely to be in the high versus the middle group. The corresponding figure for males is 0.16.
- Students who speak languages other than English or Irish at home were about three times more likely to be in the low achievement group than the medium group in both mathematics and science.
- Student SES was significantly associated with membership of both the high- and low-achieving groups, and the odds ratios are similar for both domains.
- The number of books at home was also associated with both high and low achievement. In both domains, students with between 201 and 500 books (75th percentile) were about half as likely as students with between 11 and 25 books (25th percentile) to be low achievers compared to medium achievers, while students with 201-500 books were over 3.5 times more likely to be high achievers than medium achievers.
- Students attending schools with average socioeconomic composition at or above the 75th percentile were about 0.6 times as likely to score at or below Level 1 compared to students attending schools where average SES is at or below the 25th percentile, and about 1.3 times more likely to be in the high-achieving group in the case of mathematics.
- School average SES did not significantly predict high achievement in the case of science.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Composition, Math, SES, Science, Sex Composition
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- The PISA examines the extent to which students are able to demonstrate key competencies in reading, mathematics, and science
- In Ireland, the majority of students sampled to participate are in grade 9 (about 60%) some are also in grades 8, 10, and 11.
- Sample comprised students in Ireland who participated in PISA 2006 who have available data on all explanatory variables
- Final sample consisted of 4,184 students (48.8% male)
- Missing data are not uniform across proficiency levels, with higher rates associated with Level 1 or below in both mathematics and science
- DV: Low, middle, or high achievement (measured using PISA proficiency indicators, based on international benchmarks and provide qualitative indicators of the likely skills of students at different levels of performance
- IV: Gender, grade, home language, native status, intent to leave school early, parental SES, number of books in home, parental education, home educational resources, cultural capital, school location, school average SES, school type, school size, school gender composition