1996-3777 (online)
1990-8539 (print)
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A series of reports on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) periodic testing program on student performance. The reports generally compare student (15 year olds) academic performance across countries, or discuss the methodology used to gather the data.

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Low-Performing Students

Low-Performing Students

Why They Fall Behind and How To Help Them Succeed You or your institution have access to this content

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10 Feb 2016
9789264257771 (EPUB) ; 9789264250246 (PDF) ;9789264250239(print)

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There is no country or economy participating in PISA 2012 that can claim that all of its 15-year-old students have achieved a baseline level of proficiency in mathematics, reading and science. Poor performance at school has long-term consequences, both for the individual and for society as a whole.  Reducing the number of low-performing students is not only a goal in its own right but also an effective way to improve an education system’s overall performance – and equity, since low performers are disproportionately from socio-economically disadvantaged families.

Low-performing Students: Why they Fall Behind and How to Help them Succeed examines low performance at school by looking at low performers’ family background, education career and attitudes towards school. The report also analyses the school practices and educational policies that are more strongly associated with poor student performance. Most important, the evidence provided in the report reveals what policy makers, educators, parents and students themselves can do to tackle low performance and succeed in school.

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  • Foreword

    Far too many students around the world are trapped in a vicious circle of poor performance and demotivation that leads only to more bad marks and further disengagement from school. This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of the problem and how it can be tackled.

  • Executive Summary

    Far too many students around the world are trapped in a vicious circle of poor performance and demotivation that leads only to more bad marks and further disengagement from school. Worse, poor performance at school has long-term consequences, both for the individual and for society as a whole. Students who perform poorly at age 15 face a high risk of dropping out of school altogether. When a large share of the population lacks basic skills, a country’s long-term economic growth is severely compromised.

  • Reader's Guide

    The data tables are listed in Annex A and available on line.

  • Who and Where are the Low-Performing Students?

    Poor performance at school has long-term consequences for both the individual and for society as a whole. This chapter discusses how low performance is measured in PISA and describes the incidence of low performance across countries and over time. It also explains how some countries have managed to reduce their share of low-performing students.

  • Student Background and Low Performance

    This chapter examines the many ways that students’ backgrounds affect the risk of low performance in PISA. It considers the separate and combined roles played by students’ socio-economic status, demographic characteristics, and progression through education, from pre-primary school up to age 15.

  • Engagement, Motivation and Self-Confidence among Low-Performing Students

    Students’ attitudes towards learning, and their behaviour in and outside of school, have a considerable impact on their performance. This chapter examines the strength of the associations between low performance and the amount of time and effort students invest in learning, students’ perseverance and motivation in completing their schoolwork, and students’ sense of their own academic abilities and well-being at school.

  • How School Characteristics are Related to Low Performance

    This chapter examines the incidence of low performance across schools, and the school characteristics that are most strongly related to poor student performance. It focuses on the socio-economic profile of schools, school leadership, teachers’ practices and behaviour, extracurricular activities, and the resources, both human and material, available at schools that can affect student performance.

  • Policies Governing School Systems and Low Student Performance

    This chapter explores how some of the policies that govern school systems are associated with low student performance. Specifically, the chapter examines whether the incidence of underperformance in a school system is related to: the allocation of educational resources across schools in the system, the degree of school autonomy, the prevalence of private schools, and/or the grouping or selection of students into different tracks or programmes.

  • A Policy Framework for Tackling Low Student Performance

    Millions of 15-year-old students around the world are not acquiring basic skills in such essential domains as mathematics, reading and science. This chapter discusses a series of policy tools to tackle each of the risk factors of low performance identified throughout the report. Policy makers, teachers, parents and students themselves have an important role to play.

  • List of tables available on line

    The following tables are available in electronic form only.

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