Do “better” teachers and classroom resources improve student achievement? A causal comparative approach in Kenya, South Africa, and Swaziland
We use the 2007 SACMEQ data to make traditional “upwardly biased” estimates of teacher and classroom resource correlates of 6th grade student achievement in Swaziland, Kenya, and South Africa using an OLS model, and a “less biased causal” approach using a student fixed effects model. Our fixed effects model exploits the fact that most students in all three countries have different teachers for reading and mathematics. Each student is therefore subject to the “treatment” of different teacher characteristics and classroom resources, yielding a relatively unbiased but rather “stringent” estimate of teacher and classroom effects. Our results suggest that: (a) several important identifiable teacher characteristics and classroom resources affect student achievement in each country; that (b) those characteristics and resources may differ from one national context to another, between male and female students, and across socioeconomic groups of students; and that (c) the “upwardly biased” results generally differ from the “less biased causal” results. We discuss and attempt to explain these differences.
Global rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education is an examination of the impact and influence that university rankings have had on higher education, policy and public opinion in recent years. Bringing together some of the most informed authorities on this very complex issue, this edited collection of specially commissioned chapters examines the changes affecting higher education and the implications for society and the economy.
Split into four interrelated sections, this book covers:The development of rankings in higher education, how they have impacted upon both the production of knowledge and its geography, and their influence in shaping policymaking. Overviews of the significance of rankings for higher education systems in Europe, Asia, Africa, Russia, South America, India and North America. An analysis of rankings in relation to key concerns that pervade contemporary higher education. Examination of the role rankings are likely to play in the future directions for higher education.
This is a significant scholarly work that analyses in depth an important development in higher education systems, and which is likely to have an important influence upon how we understand the higher education policy-making process – past, present and future. It provides new analysis and conceptual understanding for researchers, and firm evidence for policy makers to use when addressing the value of rankings in measuring the quality of their institutions. Besides bringing together a powerful cast of academics, this book incorporates contributions from heads of important international higher education organisations – from both those involved in making and also in administering key decisions.
This timely, reflective and accessible book forms crucial reading for those studying the subject of rankings, as well as the broader implications and unintended consequences of rankings on national higher education policies. Extending beyond academic researchers and students, this book will also be of significant interest to policymakers, higher education leaders and key stakeholders.
We study how the achievements of university students are influenced by the characteristics and achievements of peers in individuals’ social networks. Defining peer group in terms of friendship and study partner ties enables us to apply a network regression model and thereby disentangle the influence of peers’ performance from that of peers’ background. We find significant positive peer effects via the academic achievements of friends and study partners. Students’ grades increase with the abilities of study partners, who may or may not also be friends; no such effect is observed for friends who are not also study partners. Additionally, the effects of the abilities of other classmates are found to be insignificant. The results support the claim that peer influence acts mainly through knowledge-sharing channels between students who are connected by social ties
We estimate the influence of classmates’ ability characteristics on student achievement in exogenously formed university student groups. The study uses administrative data on undergraduate students at a large selective university in Russia. The presence of high-ability classmates has a significant positive effect on individual grades in key economics and mathematics courses as well as on overall academic performance. While a simple linear-in-means model reveals moderate peer effects, non-linear specifications give strong evidence that students at the top of the ability distribution derive the greatest benefit from high-ability classmates. Less able students are not affected by peers and have no significant influence on peers’ outcomes.
Period of training in a higher school is a threshold on the professional life way, therefore, it reflects the willingness to vigorously respond to all the vicissitudes of life and desire for constant self-improvement. Data collection is produced at the Higher School of Economics, Department of Management. We assumed that students with high levels of emotional intelligence must have a high rank.
This article examines the history of causal research traditions in the social sciences. We identify two major bases for the methods and logic of causal analysis in the social sciences – experimental designs and statistical methods – and discuss the developments in these two correlated research traditions, especially the implications of these developments for the social sciences. While the focus of our discussion is on the developments in western societies, we also briefly review prominent features of causal analysis in the social sciences in non-western societies.
Teacher quality is an important factor in improving student achievement. As such, policymakers have constructed a number of different credentials to identify high quality teachers. Unfortunately, few of the credentials used in developing countries have been validated (in terms of whether teachers holding such credentials actually improve student achievement). In this study, we employ a student-fixed effects model to estimate the impact of teacher credentials on student achievement in the context of the biggest education system in the world: China. We find that having a teacher with the highest rank (a credential based on annual assessments by local administrators) has positive impacts on student achievement relative to having a teacher who has not achieved the highest rank. We further find that teacher rank has heterogeneous impacts, benefiting economically poor students more than non-poor students. However, whether a teacher attends college or holds teaching awards does not appear to provide additional information on teacher quality (in terms of improving student achievement). © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
In an interconnected and globally competitive environment, faculty mobility across countries has become widespread, yet is little understood. Grounded in qualitative methodology, this volume offers a cutting-edge examination of internationally mobile academics today and explores the approaches and strategies that institutions pursue to recruit and integrate international teachers and scholars into local universities. Providing a range of research-based insights from case studies in key countries, this resource offers higher education scholars and administrators a comparative perspective, helping to explain the impact that international faculty have on the local university, as well as issues of retention, promotion, salaries, and the challenges faced by these internationally mobile academics.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.