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ERIC Number: EJ774772
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0033-1538
Impact of SES on Estonian Students' Science Achievement across Different Cognitive Domains
Mere, Kristi; Reiska, Priit; Smith, Thomas M.
Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education, v36 n4 p497-516 Dec 2006
As Estonia has moved from a centrally planned towards a market-based economy, there has been a broad-based push to create an "egalitarian but innovative, "future-oriented" system of education, which would help to develop flexible, lifelong learning citizens open to new ideas." A national research and development strategy, titled "Knowledge-based Estonia," advocates user-friendly information technology and the development of an information society, including biomedicine and materials technologies as the highest priority for Estonian research and development activities. Development in this area will require Estonia to train internationally recognized scientists. For Estonia to attain its goal of a knowledge-based economy, the proportion of young people developing an interest in science and demonstrating skills in science must increase from current levels. A large pool of potential scientists remains untapped among students from lower socio-economic families. Another cultural concern is the differential performance between students enrolled in Estonian-medium and Russian-medium schools. Traditionally, schools serving the Russian-speaking population were considered particularly strong in mathematics and science--an area where they focused considerable curricular time and resources. After independence from the Soviet Union was attained in 1991, a common curriculum was instituted for Estonian-medium and Russian-medium schools. This article uses the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) data to document the relationship between students' socio-economic status (SES) and their performance across three domains of science achievement: factual knowledge, conceptual understanding, and reasoning and analysis. These analyses allow the authors to assess the degree to which achievement at the end of lower secondary education is less equitably distributed among more cognitively demanding aspects of science. They also examine the degree to which SES differences and school-language differences are associated with an unequal distribution of teacher- and school-level resources. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Estonia