Research Seminar: 20 years of PISA: changes in Australian students’ attitudes towards reading, mathematics, and science, and their impact on students’ performance

Dr I Gusti Darmawan, Senior Lecturer, School of Education

Dr I Gusti Darmawan: Presenter

Abstract: This study investigates changes in the attitudes of 15-year-old Australian students towards reading mathematics, and science, and explores the relationships between attitude and student performance in these respective domains over the period of 2000–2018. Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to examine the measurement invariance of the construct of attitudes across the cycles of PISA. In addition, Structural Equation Modelling was used to explore mediating effects of attitudes on performance in the three domains. The results indicated that there were significant declines in student performance for all three domains. The levels of enjoyment toward the subject domains were relatively low for reading and mathematics but relatively high for science. There were upward trends in the levels of enjoyment of mathematics and science over time, while the levels of enjoyment of reading did not change significantly. Levels of instrumental motivation were relatively high and had slight upward trends for both mathematics and science. There were positive and significant relationships between attitudes and student performances.

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