Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Thomas Marcinkowski

Second Advisor

Kastro M. Hamed

Third Advisor

Joo Young Park

Fourth Advisor

Pavithra Pathirathna


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia joined PISA for the first time in 2018, and 6,136 of the students in 235 schools participated. The purpose of this multi-level study was to examine the influence of selected student- and school-level factors on students’ scientific literacy using data that were gathered as part of the 2018 PISA assessment. The sample of this study was obtained from the OECD’s PISA 2018 International Database. In this study, the focus was on the relationship between selected factors measured in PISA school and student surveys and students’ scientific literacy, as measured by the Science section of the 2018 PISA assessment. Given the nested structure of the PISA data, Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was used to answer the research questions. The results of the analysis were as follows. The null model model indicated that there was a considerable amount of variation among schools. Five of the student-level factors in the second model had a significant effect on scientific literacy scores: economic, social and cultural status (ESCS), teacher support (TEACHSUP), gender (GENDER), second-generation immigrant students (IMMIG_SE), and first-generation immigrant students (IMMIG_FI). The third model indicated that of the eight variables in the school-level factors, only two were found to have a significant effect on scientific literacy scores: Economic, social and cultural status of the school (ESCS) and shortage of educational staff (STAFFSHO). The implications and educational practices of this results are discussed.


Copyright held by author.