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Against the Odds

Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School

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Many socio-economically disadvantaged students excel in PISA. Students who succeed at school despite a disadvantaged background -- resilient students -- are the focus of Against the Odds. The report shows that overcoming barriers to achievement is possible, and provides students, parents, policy makers and other education stakeholders insights into what enables socio-economically disadvantaged students to fulfil their potential. Resilient students are characterised by positive approaches to learning, for example, having more interest in science or having more self-confidence. The evidence in PISA shows that positive approaches to learning tend to boost the performance of advantaged students more than that of disadvantaged ones. From an equity perspective, therefore, policies aimed at fostering positive approaches to learning ought to target disadvantaged students more than others.

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Executive Summary

The proportion of disadvantaged students that are successful varies considerably across educational systems. In some education systems, like in Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Portugal close to half of disadvantaged students exceed an internationally comparable benchmark and can be considered successful from an international perspective.

English

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