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Classroom Practices and Students’ Literacy in a High and a Low Achieving Country: A Comparative Analysis of PISA Data from Finland and Israel

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The purposes of this study are to investigate the structural relationship of classroom practices and students’ literacy; and to compare the structural relationship of a higher and a lower achieving country (Finland and Israel). Factor Analysis and Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) techniques are applied to the PISA (OECD-UNESCO, 2003) data for Finnish and Israeli students. The SSA shows a structural difference between the two countries: in Finland the regions Pressure to Achieve and Teacher Support are adjacent, whereas in Israel they are in opposition. This is interpreted as suggesting that the combination of supportive yet demanding classroom practices may be related to stronger academic achievement.
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Keywords: Finland; Israel; PISA; classroom practices; literacy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bar-Ilan University

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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