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publicado em:  8 Novembro 2011
Portuguese students among those with higher levels of resilience

However, their proficiency level is below the OECD average. These data are included in the report Against the Odds: Disadvantage Students Who Succeed in School (OCDE, 2011). This study is based on Programme for International Student Assessment 2006 (PISA) data, which evaluates proficiency levels in science, reading and mathematics of students with ages between 15 years and three months and 16 years and two months that completed at least six years of education.

In Portugal, around 46% of students who have a disadvantaged socioeconomic background had a high performance in sciences. This value is higher than the one reported on average in OECD countries (39.0%). Finland stands out among the other countries, reaching the value of 66.6% for this indicator. The result for South Korea, Japan and Canada is also higher than 50%. On the contrary, in the United States, Luxembourg, Iceland, Norway and México this kind of resilient performance is inferior to 30% (see methodological note).



Resilient performances tend to occur in more than one knowledge area. In Portugal 52.8% of resilient students in science were also resilient in mathematics and reading, 21.2% were resilient only in mathematics, 12.6% in reading and only 13.5% of the resilient students in science weren’t resilient in any of the two other disciplines. 

Although Portugal presents a high proportion of resilient students, their proficiency level is relatively is low. To be considered high, the student’s performance must be located in the 1/3 highest performances of the country. Among OECD countries, only in Mexico, in Turkey and in Greece the resilient students present lower proficiency levels for science literacy than in Portugal. Actually, while in Portugal 71.4% of resilient students obtained scores of level 2 and 3, and 28.5% of level 4-6, the OECD average for these two indicators is 43.1% and 56.1%, respectively. In Finland 93.9% of resilient students obtained scores of level 4-6 (see Table 2).
 
 
In most OECD countries, as in Portugal, resilient students tend to come from families with more cultural resources compared to the majority of students with disadvantaged socioeconomic background. They also show more interest in science, participate more in scientific activities outside school, have more hours of scientific study in school and present higher levels of confidence in scientific subjects. On the other hand, in Portugal there aren’t significant proficiency inequalities according to sex or the immigrant/autochthonous condition.  

See a review of this report

Methodological note: the resilience level results from the comparison between the number of students with disadvantaged socioeconomic background that obtained a score considered high in science and the total number of students socioeconomically disadvantaged. The socioeconomic disadvantaged students are those whose families’ socioeconomic background places them in the lower 1/3 of national distribution. To be considered a high performance, the student’s proficiency level has to be in the 1/3 of the highest performances of the country. Therefore, the student’s resilience is determined by a double criterion: one is his socioeconomic origin; the second is related to its proficiency level.









 

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