School and student determinants of reading performance: A multilevel analysis with Portuguese students

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Published 19-01-2023
João Lopes Célia Oliveira Patricia Costa

Abstract

Reading is crucial for learning, in general. Starting right with reading in primary grades is, therefore, vital for school achievement. The present study aims to test whether students’ factors best predict reading performance than school factors and determine what student and school factors predict reading performance. The study sample includes 4,118 fourth-grade students participating in IEA PIRLS 2016. Three questionnaires were used to collect data: one for school principals, one for students, and one for parents. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to study the relation of school and student-level variables to students’ reading performance. Students’ confidence in reading and home resources for learning are the best predictors of reading performance at the student level. At the school level, school emphasis on academic success is the best predictor of reading performance. The results provide clues as to what schools might do to improve reading results.

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