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Volume 7, No. 2 Articles
Title Authors Pages
Some Problems in the analysis of cross-national survey data
Keeves, J.P., Lietz, P., Gregory, K. and Darmawan, I.G.N. 110-126
In this lead article three emergent problems in the analysis of cross-national survey data are raised in a context of 40 years of research and development in a field where persistent problems have arisen and where scholars across the world have sought solutions. Anomalous results have been found from secondary data analyses that would appear to stem from the procedures that have been employed during the past 15 years for the estimation of educational achievement. These estimation procedures are briefly explained and their relationships to the observed anomalies are discussed. The article concludes with a challenge to the use of Bayesian estimation procedure, while possibly appropriate for the estimation of population parameters would appear to be inadequate for modelling scores that are used in secondary data analyses. Consequently, an alternative approach should be sought to provide data on the performance of individual students, if a clearer and more coherent understanding of educational processes is to be achieved through cross-national survey research. Cross-national research, survey research, secondary data analysis, Bayesian estimation procedures, educational achievement
Issues in the change in gender differences in reading achievement in cross-national research studies since 1992: A meta-analytic view
Lietz, P. 127-149
Results of a previous meta-analysis of gender differences in reading achievement at the secondary school level (Lietz, in press) showed significant differences between major assessment programs. Thus, the gender gap in favour of girls was more pronounced for the assessment programs conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Programs in the United States (NAEP), for the more recent assessment programs in Australia and the Programme for the International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the OECD. In contrast, no such effect was found for earlier studies conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), namely the International Reading Comprehension Study 1970-71 and the International Reading Literacy Study 1990-91. Hence, this article seeks to investigate whether or not an effect exists that could be associated with the time period in which a study was conducted. In other words, the article examines whether or not the reasons for the greater gender differences in more recent assessment programs might be related to the scaling of reading scores before and after 1992. Reading achievement; scaling of scores; meta-analysis; hierarchical linear modelling; gender differences
A method for monitoring sub-trends in country-level mathematics achievement on TIMSS
Gregory, K. 150-159
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science studies provide country-level data for tracking changes in student achievement over time. In this paper the author has developed a method for identifying and monitoring trends in student achievement above or below any specified cut-point on these tests. The method involved the use of the Foster, Greer, and Thorbecke indices, as well as a modified version of these indices. The ability to identify and monitor trends in student achievement at various cut-points on the test should prove useful to policy analysts as well as to governmental and international funding agencies wishing to obtain data on the effectiveness of various programs and policies. Monitoring trends, achievement, large-scale assessment
Suppressor variables and multilevel mixture modelling
Darmawan, I.G.N. and Keeves, J.P. 160-173
A major issue in educational research involves taking into consideration the multilevel nature of the data. Since the late 1980s, attempts have been made to model social science data that conform to a nested structure. Among other models, two-level structural equation modelling or two-level path modelling and hierarchical linear modelling are two of the techniques that are commonly employed in analysing multilevel data. Despite their advantages, the two-level path models do not include the estimation of cross-level interaction effects and hierarchical linear models are not designed to take into consideration the indirect effects. In addition, hierarchical linear models might also suffer from multicollinearity that exists among the predictor variables. This paper seeks to investigate other possible models, namely the use of latent constructs, indirect paths, random slopes and random intercepts in a hierarchical model. Multilevel data analysis, suppressor variables, multilevel mixture modelling, hierarchical linear modelling, two-level path modelling
Accountability of teachers and schools: A value-added approach
Darmawan, I.G.N. and Keeves, J.P. 174-188
Currently, there has been substantial interest, in Australia and internationally, in policy activities related to outcomes-based educational performance indicators and their link with growing demands for accountability of teachers and schools. In order to achieve a fair comparison between schools, it is commonly agreed that a correction should be made for lack of equity. It is argued that student performance is influenced by three general factors: the student background, classroom and school context, and identified school policies and practices. In this article the effects of these three factors on science achievement among students in Canberra, Australia have been addressed. The effects are discussed with reference to Type A, Type B, Type X, and Type Z effects. Type A effects are school effectiveness indicators controlled for student background. Type B school effects are controlled for both student background and context variables. Type X effects are estimated with student effects, context effects and non-malleable policy effects controlled for. Finally, Type Z effects invoke school effectiveness indicators, controlled for student, context, and all identified policy effects. Value-added, accountability, science achievement, social psychological measures, equity, school effectiveness indicators
Percentage population plots: A proposition for a new strategy for data analysis in comparative education
Skuza, P.P. 189-206
One of the issues facing educational research workers today is the determination of the similarities and differences between countries and cultures in the factors that influence educational outcomes. The author of this article proposes a new approach to this problem. Usually when countries are compared, the complete student samples are taken into consideration. At the same time, there are differences between countries with regard to their educational policies towards high or low achieving students as well as the effects of different student characteristics on the educational outcomes for those groups. Population Percentage Plots propose a new way of comparing the effects across the whole range of performance of groups of students. Cross-national research, secondary data analysis, science achievement, comparative education, high and low achieving students

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