Hogging the middle lane: How student performance heterogeneity leads Turkish schools to fail in PISA?

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Sengul Uysal
Koksal Banoglu


This study aims to analyze the relationship between students’ mathematics achievement in PISA 2012 and the instructional climate related factors in the index of principals’ perceptions (learning hindrance, teacher morale and teacher intention). The current study suggested classroom homogeneity was the most significant predictor, among 29 independent variables included in the instructional climate dimension of survey on Turkish students’ mathematics achievement at Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exams. As preliminary analysis procedure, the chi-squared Automatic Interaction detection (CHAID) analysis was performed with relevant independent variables. Teacher’s achievement expectation from students and achievement-oriented behaviours were other significant predictive indicators on PISA mathematics achievement. Based upon these independent variables and standard deviation estimates of PISA mathematics scores, present research developed a theoretical model by means of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), explaining how students’ PISA mathematics achievement is associated with classroom and within school homogeneity through teachers’ expectation and achievement-oriented behaviours. Results showed that the developed model provided a great model-data fit. This model revealed that classroom achievement homogeneity and within school achievement homogeneity were the most important predictors on students’ PISA mathematics achievement. Furthermore they have a significant influence on teachers’ achievement expectation from students and achievement-oriented behaviours as well.



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