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Abstract

This study examines whether differences in parental education are reflected in differences in children’s scores on cognitive tests, drawing attention to the role of family context in educational outcomes. The primary focus is on the parental education/testscore gradient in New Zealand, although the study also presents comparative results for other OECD countries. Separate analyses are carried out for subgroups of children in New Zealand defined by immigrant status, gender and family type, and for children of New Zealand parents living in Australia. To gain a better understanding of the factors associated with the gradient, the study analyses the statistical contribution of five broadly defined sets of educational inputs – student characteristics, household characteristics, household educational resources, student-school interactions and school characteristics (the components of which are listed in the glossary and in Table 10, and described in Appendix 1)

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