PISA Data Analysis Manual: SPSS, Second Edition

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The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) surveys collected data on students’ performances in reading, mathematics and science, as well as contextual information on students’ background, home characteristics and school factors which could influence performance. This publication includes detailed information on how to analyse the PISA data, enabling researchers to both reproduce the initial results and to undertake further analyses. In addition to the inclusion of the necessary techniques, the manual also includes a detailed account of the PISA 2006 database and worked examples providing full syntax in SPSS®.



Policy makers and researchers require information on how indicators change over time. An analysis of the impact of reforms on the education system, would be an example, where policy makers would seek to measure changes in the targeted area to gauge the effectiveness of their policies. In the early 1960s, for example, most OECD countries implemented education reforms to facilitate access to tertiary education, mainly through financial help. One indicator of the impact of these reforms would be to calculate the percentage of the population with a tertiary qualification for several years to show how this has evolved. Computing this trend indicator is a straightforward statistical manipulation, since the measure (i.e. whether or not an individual has completed tertiary education) is objective and available at the population level, in most cases. Nevertheless, such measures can be slightly biased by, for example, differing levels of immigration over a period of time, student exchange programmes, and so on.


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