School location and socio-economic status and patterns of participation and achievement in senior secondary mathematics

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Abstract

In many countries there is pressure for schools to increase student engagement and skills in mathematics, in particular for disadvantaged students. This is certainly true in Australia. This study repurposes school level data to examine patterns of participation and achievement in senior secondary school mathematics in Victoria, Australia. It confirms that school socio-economic status (SES) is strongly tied to participation and achievement in these subjects, and that non-metropolitan schools tend to perform more poorly than metropolitan schools in these areas. It shows that non-metropolitan schools are less likely to offer advanced mathematics subjects than metropolitan schools, and where they do, their students are less likely to choose those options. This study also reveals that correlations between mathematics performance and SES are far weaker in the non-metropolitan school population than the metropolitan school population. This suggests that a non-metropolitan location has a moderating effect on the impact of SES, pointing the way for potentially fruitful lines of future inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-235
Number of pages17
JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
Volume31
Early online date24 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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