Low SES and High Mathematics Achievement: A Two-Level Analysis of the Paradox in Six Asian Education Systems
Qiang Cheng, Hsien-Yuan Hsu

Although the impact of family socioeconomic status (SES) on student academic achievement has received much attention in the western literature, studies focusing on the Asian education systems were limited. Guided by Bourdieu’s capital theory and the success frame notion proposed by Lee and Zhou, this study examined whether a paradoxical relationship between family SES and the mathematics achievement of students exists across six Asian education systems. Results from a two-level hierarchical linear modeling of PISA 2012 data revealed a positive and significant linear association between family SES and student mathematics achievement in all six Asian education systems as well as a negative and significant quadratic relationship in two of the six education systems. The study provides important understanding about the role of family SES in shaping the academic performances of students in these Asian education systems, especially those from the most socioeconomically privileged families.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v5n1a8