Who are the Most Disadvantaged? Factors Associated with the Achievement of Students with Low Socio- Economic Backgrounds

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DOI: 10.12738/estp.2016.2.0257 

Year: 2016 Vol: 16 Number: 2

Abstract

Analysis of the relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and student achievement has been prevalent in the literature, yet research focusing on the association between factors and the achievement of school populations with distinct categories of SES is limited. The purpose of the present study was to investigate various relevant student, household, and school factors associated with the performance of students with distinct SES backgrounds in Turkey. Specifically, this study aimed to compare the most disadvantaged students with the most advantaged ones in terms of factors affecting their reading, mathematics, and science achievement. The data for the study was taken from the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which was conducted in 2012. Several multiple linear regression models were employed in the analysis of the data. Results showed an enormous achievement gap between students in the lowest 25 SES percentile and those in the top 25 SES percentile in all subject areas, and suggested that socioeconomically disadvantaged students benefitted more from home educational resources and ICT availability, as well as reduced class size, compared to their counterparts from higher socio-economic backgrounds. The study provides substantial implications and suggestions for policy makers in general, and for those in Turkey in particular.

Keywords
Disadvantaged students, PISA, Socio-economic status, Student achievement, Turkey

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