Problem solving and immigrant student mathematics and science achievement: Multination findings from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Andrew J. MARTIN, Gregory A. D. LIEM, Magdalena Mo Ching MOK, Jacob XU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study investigates problem-solving skill alongside more widely recognized settlement and sociodemographic factors in first-generation (1G) and second-generation (2G) immigrant students' science and mathematics achievement. A total of 113,767 students (ages 15–16 years) from 17 countries were drawn from the 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data set. Multilevel hierarchical regression findings confirm that along with settlement and sociodemographic factors, problem-solving skill is a factor in immigrant students' achievement in mathematics and science—but that immigrant students scored lower in problem solving than nonimmigrant students. Settlement and sociodemographic factors relevant to achievement and problem-solving skill for immigrant students include socioeconomic status, language background, age of arrival, gender, and age—in addition to significant between-school and between-country effects. The variance explained by settlement and sociodemographic factors suggests it is not immigrant status per se that explains lower achievement and problem-solving skill (thus countering deficit perspectives), but various factors that are embedded in and associated with immigrant status that explain the bulk of such variance. Implications for educational and psychological research, practice, and policy are discussed. Copyright © 2012 APA,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1073
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume104
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Citation

Martin, A. J., Liem, G. A. D., Mok, M. M. C., & Xu, J. (2012). Problem solving and immigrant student mathematics and science achievement: Multination findings from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(4), 1054-1073.

Keywords

  • PISA
  • Immigrants
  • Mathematics achievement
  • Problem solving
  • Science achievement

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