An exploration of cluster structure in scientific literacy in PISA: Evidence for a Nordic dimension?

Rolf V. Olsen


The cognitive items covering the domain of scientific literacy in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) are explored through an analysis of the item residuals (item-by-country interactions) with the aim of looking for a distinct Nordic pattern. The findings of a cluster analysis indicate that the profile across the Nordic countries is not very distinct. However, stable profiles are established for a number of other groups of countries, and the Nordic countries are shown to be membersof a larger group of countries which is labelled North-West European countries. Furthermore, item characteristics are used to find possible explanations for the profiles.

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