Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia


Secondary Data Analyses of the PISA Survey

Published 06.04.2011.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration/Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit, the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and the Institute for Psychology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade are conducting the Support Programme for the Development of Research Staff in the Field of Social Sciences – Secondary Analyses of Data Acquired through the PISA Survey.

The goal of the programme is to better understand the factors impacting the quality and equality of education in Serbia through raising the capacities of researchers for the implementation of complementary/secondary studies in fields that were not studied in the past, yet are extremely important for formulating an efficient educational policy. The programme will stimulate new researchers to use existing research materials.

The results of the research will be published in mid-2011. The study subjects are as follows:

Topic 1: Factors of Develoment of Higher Levels of Reading Literacy

Authors: Branković Marija, Buđevac Nevena, Ivanović Anja and Jović Vladimir

The testing of our students throughout the number of cycles of the PISA study (2003, 2006, 2009) consistently indicates that students from Serbia do not achieve satisfactory results in reading literacy. The goal of the study is to identify the difficulties students face in situations where they are expected to use more complex reading literacy skills, with a focus on argumentative thinking. The analysis of the conditions and barriers to the development of this skill in school education in our country will be undertaken in parallel. The findings of the study will be used in formulating recommendations for specific steps to be used in providing the students with more stimulation to develop argumentative thinking skills.

Topic 2: Methodical Approach as a Factor of Development of Reading Literacy

Author: Milana Grk

The results of all previous cycles of the PISA study in Serbia indicate that for years most students in Serbia could not overcome the  level of reproduction in regards to reading literacy. The causes behind these statistics are rightfully sought in the methodical approach to teaching students. The subject of the study are the relations between the methodical approach to teaching and the level of reading literacy in students. More precisely, whether the cognitive construct of teaching theory as an instructional principle impacts the overcoming of difficulties identified in developing reading literacy in students. The goal of the study is to determine: a) what are the typical difficulties and problems students experience in solving more complex tasks, and b) what type of instruction and/or guided reading experience would contribute to mastering skills the students did not develop sufficiently during the preceding educational period. Finally, the pedagogical-methodical approach believed to overcome existing barriers will be recommended, based on the results of the study.

Topic 3: Math Anxiety: Is Mathematics a Bogeyman

Authors: Marina Videnovič, Jelena Radišić

One notable phenomenon in our schools is the anxiety students express regarding the study of mathematics. The results of the PISA testing from 2003 indicate there are only eight other countries where students show higher levels of this anxiety. The goals of the study are to: 1) examine the link between anxiety regarding the study of mathematics, demographic and contextual factors and achievements both on the scale of mathematical literacy, as well as the national mathematics tests; 2) deepen the understanding of the properties of the learning environment where students feel less anxious regarding their mathematical competencies. The results of the study should serve as a foundation for an educational policy directed at reducing this type of anxiety, and further reflecting favourably on the achievements of our students in mathematical literacy in the PISA test of 2012.

Topic 4: Programme of Support to the Development of Researchers in the Area of Social Sciences

Authors: Ljiljana Plazinić, Vedrana Radosavljević, Ivana Baucal

The study will correlate reading literacy with the individual properties of students, characteristics of their families and the teaching processes, describing typical students with high, low and average achievements in the field of reading literacy in Serbia. This data will then be used for defining relevant and specific recommendations oriented towards contextual achievement factors that could contribute to efforts for improving our educational system and helping students with the lowest achievements to exceed the limit of functional literacy, and those with average achievements to attain above average results. Following the statistical analyses, focus groups with the students will be held in order to deepen the understanding of the nature and relationship of factors deemed significant, as well as to create recommendations that make sense from the students’ perspective.

Topic 5: Factors of Student Achievements in Reading Literacy Tests

Author: Vitomir Jovanović

The primary goal of the study project is to answer the question of which factors are related to achievements in the PISA reading literacy tests. The questions asked within this project include: what differentiates students who advance in mastering the skill of comprehending texts as opposed to those who stagnate or even deteriorate? Is the favourable socio-cultural and socio-economic environment wherein the student grows and develops responsible for these differences? Is it the students’ views of what knowledge is like and whether teachers are those who know the definitive answers to all questions, or is knowledge something far more complex? Is it the students’ beliefs in their own abilities? Is it the positive relationship with school, books and academic achievements? Is it the skills of teachers to interest and lead the students to deeper reading and understanding of various texts?

Topic 6: Preschool Education and Student Achievement in Serbia Evidence from PISA

Authors: Hana Baronijan, SunčicaVujić:

This study will use the results of the PISA surveys from 2003, 2006 and 2009 to examine the effects of preschool education on subsequent student achievements, taking into consideration the socio-economic and demographic properties of households, as well as the characteristics of the region and neighbouring countries. Student achievements are measured based on the results of testing 15 year olds regarding mathematical, reading and scientific literacy as assessed by the PISA survey, as well as based on grade repetitions. The impact of preschool education on subsequent school achievements will be assessed separately for boys and girls.

Topic 7: Relationship between Students’ Learning Approaches, Perception of the Relationship with the Teacher and Teaching Strategies

Authors: Nataša Cvijan, Milan Stančić and Marko Milanović

The general opinion in literature related to teachers is that the quality of the work of teachers is the key factor in explaining student achievements. On the other hand, in everyday life we often hear that teachers lost their former reputation and that their influence on students is decreasing. Therefore we were interested in examining whether the quality of the relationship with the teacher impacts student achievement, as well as to determine what specific teacher actions in class motivate and demotivate students. Similarly, we find it important to determine to what extent is there a link between teacher actions and student strategies in reading and comprehending texts, as well as whether certain teacher actions have a different impact on students of different sexes, socio-economic status and anxiety levels. The results obtained would enable us to identify the teacher competences that contribute to better student achievements, and that could be used as a basis for creating a programme for initial teacher education, as well as programmes for the professional specialization of existing teachers, leading to an increase in the quality and equality of education in Serbia.




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