Impacts of enquiry-based science teaching on achievement gap between high-and-low SES students: findings from PISA 2015

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The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate, in a large-scale assessment, the prevalence of enquiry-based teaching, as defined by PISA, implemented in science lessons, and the extent to which it is related to students from different socioeconomic status (SES) family backgrounds in the U.S. The Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 data including 5,146 students in the U.S. were used. A Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) was conducted to classify students into different science teaching subgroups. Mixture regression analysis was conducted to examine whether there the association between SES and achievement varied across science teaching subgroups. Four science teaching subgroups were identified, varying in the frequency of and type of teaching practices used. Students’ attitudes, gender, science instruction time, and reading achievement are significant predictors of the subgroup membership. SES-achievement gap also varied across the science teaching subgroups. Discussions for the results and suggestions for future study were presented.



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