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What can Teachers do to Raise Pupil Achievement?

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  • Monazza Aslam
  • Geeta Kingdon

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 resume 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-base 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 is 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 resume characteristics of teachers do not significantly matter to pupil achievement. Perversely, however, teachers are found to be rewarded 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

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2007-14.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2007-14

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Keywords: Teacher Characteristics; Pupil Fixed-Effects Achievement; Government and Private Middle-Schools; Pakistan;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
  4. Geeta Kingdon & Francis Teal, 2008. "Teacher Unions, Teacher Pay and Student Performance in India: A Pupil Fixed Effects Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 2428, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.
  6. Hoxby, Caroline Minter, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718, August.
  7. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Daniel M. O'Brien & Steven G. Rivkin, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," NBER Working Papers 11154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Boissiere, M & Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1985. "Earnings, Schooling, Ability, and Cognitive Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1016-30, December.
  9. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  10. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
  11. Thomas J. Kane & Jonah E. Rockoff & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 12155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "The relative effectiveness of government and private schools in Pakistan: are girls worse off?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 329-354.
  13. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2006. "Teacher characteristics and student performance in India: A pupil fixed effects approach," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics GPRG-WPS-059, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. 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, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 1-28.
  16. Shahrukh Rafi Khan, 2002. "Rationality in Public Sector Salary Scales: The Case of Rural Teachers in Pakistan," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 333-345.
  17. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  18. Monazza Aslam, 2006. "The Quality of School Provision in Pakistan: Are Girls Worse Off?," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics GPRG-WPS-066, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  19. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael, 2006. "Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  20. Das, Jishnu & Pandey, Priyanka & Zajonc, Tristan, 2006. "Learning levels and gaps in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4067, The World Bank.
  21. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "Education Gender Gaps in Pakistan: Is the Labor Market to Blame?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 747-784, 07.
  23. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  24. 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), Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques 2005008, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  25. Monazza Aslam, 2006. "Rates of Return to Education by Gender in Pakistan," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics GPRG-WPS-064, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Hamna Ahmed & Sahar Amjad & Masooma Habib & Syed Ahsan Shah, 2013. "Determinants of School Choice:Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan," CREB Working papers, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics 1-2013, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics, revised 2013.
  3. Nadir Altinok & Geeta Kingdon, 2009. "New Evidence on Class Size Effects : A Pupil Fixed Effects Approach," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine, 2011. "Empirical Essays in Health and Education Economics," Munich Dissertations in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 13187, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Van Klaveren, Chris, 2011. "Lecturing style teaching and student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 729-739, August.
  6. Schwerdt, Guido & Wuppermann, Amelie C., 2011. "Is traditional teaching really all that bad? A within-student between-subject approach," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19919, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Kuecken, Maria & Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2013. "When do textbooks matter for achievement? Evidence from African primary schools," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 311-315.
  8. Sushmita Nalini Das, 2014. "Do "Child-Friendly" Practices affect Learning? Evidence from Rural India," DoQSS Working Papers, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London 14-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  9. 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.

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