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ERIC Number: EJ785492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1380-3611
The Gap between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students in Science Achievement in South African Secondary Schools
Howie, Sarah; Scherman, Vanessa; Venter, Elsie
Educational Research and Evaluation, v14 n1 p29-46 Feb 2008
South Africa's education system is still deep in the throes of reform under its third Minister of Education since 1994. Poor communities, in particular those of rural Africans, bear the brunt of the past inequalities. The challenge was to explore the extent of the "gap" in students' scores by comparing the advantaged and disadvantaged communities in this context. The TIMSS-Repeat 1999 data were explored and 3 categories of students were ultimately identified: advantaged, semi-advantaged, and disadvantaged groups. Partial least squares analysis was applied to explore the science performance but very few factors were found that consistently predicted performance across and within these groups. However, one dominant factor emerged in these models and that was the students' performance in the locally developed English test that provided a measure of students' proficiency in English, the language in which more than 70% of the students wrote the science tests. Students who had a higher score on the English test also performed better in the science test, despite their backgrounds. (Contains 1 figure and 8 tables.)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa