This paper examined the relative influence of students' characteristics, family background, school characteristics and cultural context in the attitudes and knowledge about science in Europe and Asia, using the OECD's 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). We used data from two European and Asian countries that differ regarding their level of PISA results; "high-achievers" (Belgium N = 8,857 and Korea N = 5,176) and "low-achievers" (Portugal N = 5,109 and Thailand N = 6,192). Results showed variations in the sets of predictors that explain the differences of attitudes and knowledge of 15 year old students about science. European and Asian countries have specific cultural characteristics which apparently are educationally relevant and account for a strong variation of the results.
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