This book brings together contributions from different scholarly contexts that address a diverse range of focused topics, as well as empirical and conceptual perspectives, on research with international studies.
Some chapters focus on technical aspects, exploring opportunities for drawing causal inferences from the data, and investigating biases originating in distributional scale properties. Others are of a more conceptual nature, addressing changes in the relevance of socio-economic indicators across time and countries, examining the exposure of mother-tongue and English instruction on performance and investigating the effects of test construction on gender difference.
The discussion takes a much-needed meta-perspective on the usefulness of international large-scale assessments for educational research and allows reflection upon possibilities and opportunities for their improvement. This book was originally published as a special issue of Assessment in Education.
Introduction – Doing research with international assessment studies: methodological and conceptual challenges and ways forward
Jenny Lenkeit and Knut Schwippert
1. Addressing omitted prior achievement bias in international assessments: an applied example using PIRLS-NPD matched data
Daniel H. Caro, Leonidas Kyriakides and Ioulia Televantou
2. Distributional properties of the PIRLS-home resource for learning scale and observed effects on reading achievement: are measurements of educational inequalities by latent indices without bias?
Anke Hußmann and Daniel Kasper
3. Configurations of multiple disparities in reading performance: longitudinal observations across France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom
Jenny Lenkeit, Knut Schwippert and Michel Knigge
4. Understanding language in education and grade 4 reading performance using a ‘natural experiment’ of Botswana and South Africa
Debra Lynne Shepherd
5. Can test construction account for varying gender differences in international reading achievement tests of children, adolescents and young adults? – A study based on Nordic results in PIRLS, PISA and PIAAC
Oddny Judith Solheim and Kjersti Lundetræ
6. Improving international assessment through evaluation