Educational performance by sex of student immigrant background

Sex differences in student performance have been widely highlighted by both academic institutions and international organizations. A common finding is that gender strongly influences performance in the different skills evaluated in the PISA (Programme for International Student Evaluation) – mathematics, reading and science.

For the purposes of PISA 2012, “mathematical proficiency” is designed as the student’s personal capacity to formulate, use and interpret mathematics in different contexts. It includes mathematical reasoning and the use of mathematical concepts, procedures, tools and data to describe, explain and predict phenomena. Also, it helps people to recognise the role that mathematics play in the world and to arrive at well-founded judgements and decisions. “Reading proficiency" is defined as the student’s personal capacity to understand, use, reflect on and take an interest in written texts, to reach his/her own objectives, develop his/her own knowledge and potential and participate in society. “Proficiency in sciences" is defined as scientific knowledge and the use that can be made of that knowledge to identify questions, acquire new knowledge, explain scientific phenomena and reach conclusions based on scientific tests. It includes the understanding of the characteristics of science as a form of knowledge and of research, as well as the awareness of how science and technology organise our material and intellectual medium.

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