Are they happy at school? PISA data and visualisation challange @ useR!2014

June 3, 2014

(This article was first published on SmarterPoland » PISA in english, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I hope you have already heard about DataVis contest at useR!2014 (in case you did not, here is more information:
As a jury member I am not going to submit any work, but I am going to encourage you to play with the data, crunch a finding and submit interesting plot.

How easy is to download the data and create some graph?

Let’s take a look at students’ answers for questions: ‘Do you feel happy at school?’ and ‘How familiar are you with Declarative Fractions?’.

Are boys more familiar with ‘Declarative Fractions’ than girls?
(funny fact: ‘Declarative Fraction’ is a fake concept that is used in PISA to measure overconfidence)
(funny fact 2: plot familiarity with ‘Declarative Fractions’ across countries, results are very interesting)

# read students data from PISA 2012
# directly from URL
con <- url("")
# variable ST62Q13 codes familiarity with 'Declarative Fraction'
tab <- pisa.table(variable="ST62Q13", by="ST04Q01", data=student2012)
ptab <- acast(tab, ST04Q01~ST62Q13, value.var="Percentage")
ddat <- data.frame(Item=rownames(ptab), ptab)
# plot it with the likert package, center=2) + ggtitle("Declarative Fraction") + theme_bw()

In which countries the fraction of kids that declare that they are happy at school is the highest?

# variable ST87Q07 codes 'Sense of Belonging - Feel Happy at School'
# pisa.table calculates weighted fractions and it's standard errors
tab <- pisa.table(variable="ST87Q07", by="CNT", data=student2012)
ptab <- acast(tab, CNT~ST87Q07, value.var="Percentage")
# need to add fake column with 0, otherwise will fail
ddat <- data.frame(Item=rownames(ptab), cbind(ptab[,4:3], 0, ptab[,2:1]))
ddat <- ddat[-grep(rownames(ddat),pattern="(", fixed=TRUE),]
# plot it with the likert package,  plot.percent.neutral=FALSE) + ggtitle("Sense of Belonging - Feel Happy at School")

There is a lot of ‘kind of Likert’ scale questions in the PISA study, for sure there is a lot of nice stories as well.

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