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What can teachers do to raise pupil achievement?

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  • Aslam, Monazza
  • Kingdon, Geeta

Abstract

Improving weak teaching may be one of the most effective means of raising pupil achievement. However, teachers' classroom practices and the teaching 'process' may matter more to student learning than teachers' observed résumé characteristics (such as certification and experience). There may also be important differences in teacher characteristics across government and private schools which may help explain the large documented public-private achievement differences often found in studies. This paper delves into the black-box representing 'teaching' to uncover the teacher characteristics and teaching practices that matter most to pupil achievement. This is done using unique school-based data, collected in 2002-2003 from government and private schools from one district in Punjab province in Pakistan. The data allow exploitation of an identification strategy that permits the matching of students' test scores in language and mathematics to the characteristics of teachers that teach those subjects. Within pupil (across subject rather than across time) variation is used to examine whether the characteristics of different subject teachers are related to a students' mark across subjects. The data are also unique in asking all subject teachers questions pertaining to their teaching practices and these, often unobserved, 'process' variables are included in achievement function estimates. Our pupil fixed-effects findings reveal that the standard résumé characteristics of teachers do not significantly matter to pupil achievement. Perversely, however, teachers are found to be rewarded with higher pay for possessing these characteristics, highlighting the highly inefficient nature of teacher pay schedules. Our findings also show that teaching 'process' variables matter significantly to student achievement. There are important differences across school-types.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 559-574

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:559-574

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: Teacher characteristics Pupil fixed-effects achievement Government and private middle-schools Pakistan;

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References

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  1. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
  2. Kingdon, Geeta & Teal, Francis, 2010. "Teacher unions, teacher pay and student performance in India: A pupil fixed effects approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 278-288, March.
  3. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  5. Boissiere, M & Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1985. "Earnings, Schooling, Ability, and Cognitive Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1016-30, December.
  6. Monazza Aslam, 2006. "The Quality of School Provision in Pakistan: Are Girls Worse Off?," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-066, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Geeta G. Kingdon & Francis Teal, 2002. "Does performance related pay for teachers improve student performance? Some evidence from India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2006. "Teacher characteristics and student performance in India: A pupil fixed effects approach," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-059, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Das, Jishnu & Pandey, Priyanka & Zajonc, Tristan, 2006. "Learning levels and gaps in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4067, The World Bank.
  10. Shahrukh Rafi Khan, 2002. "Rationality in Public Sector Salary Scales: The Case of Rural Teachers in Pakistan," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 333-345.
  11. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
  12. Monazza Aslam, 2006. "Rates of Return to Education by Gender in Pakistan," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-064, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  14. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  15. Hoxby, Caroline Minter, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718, August.
  16. Maresa, SPRIETSMA & Fabio, WALTENBERG, 2005. "The impact of teachers’ wages on students’ performance in the presence of heterogeneity and endogeneity. Evidence from Brazil," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005008, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  17. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "The relative effectiveness of government and private schools in Pakistan: are girls worse off?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 329-354.
  18. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  19. G. M. Arif & Najam Us Saqib, 2003. "Production of Cognitive and Life Skills in Public, Private, and NGO Schools in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 1-28.
  20. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  21. Harold Alderman & Peter F. Orazem & Elizabeth M. Paterno, 2001. "School Quality, School Cost, and the Public/Private School Choices of Low-Income Households in Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 304-326.
  22. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "Education Gender Gaps in Pakistan: Is the Labor Market to Blame?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 747-784, 07.
  23. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Guido Schwerdt & Amelie C. Wuppermann, 2009. "Is Traditional Teaching really all that Bad? A Within-Student Between-Subject Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 2634, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Nadir Altinok & Geeta Kingdon, 2009. "New Evidence on Class Size Effects: A Pupil Fixed Effects Approach," Post-Print halshs-00417229, HAL.
  3. Hamna Ahmed & Sahar Amjad & Masooma Habib & Syed Ahsan Shah, 2013. "Determinants of School Choice:Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan," CREB Working papers 1-2013, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics, revised 2013.
  4. Sushmita Nalini Das, 2014. "Do "Child-Friendly" Practices affect Learning? Evidence from Rural India," DoQSS Working Papers 14-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  5. Van Klaveren, Chris, 2011. "Lecturing style teaching and student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 729-739, August.
  6. Kuecken, Maria & Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2013. "When do textbooks matter for achievement? Evidence from African primary schools," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 311-315.
  7. Shenila Rawal & Monazza Aslam & Baela Jamil, 2013. "Teacher Characteristics, Actions and Perceptions: What Matters for Student Achievement in Pakistan?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine, 2011. "Empirical Essays in Health and Education Economics," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13187, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Maria Kuecken & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2013. "When do textbooks matter for achievement? Evidence from African primary schools," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00828418, HAL.

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