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Can improvements in teacher quality reduce the cognitive gap between urban and rural students in China?

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  • Zheng, Lei
  • Qi, Xiang
  • Zhang, Chongjiu

Abstract

The urban-rural educational gap is a pressing issue for many countries, including China. Rural students have access to fewer educational resources and have less qualified teachers. Enhancing the quality of rural teachers is being prioritized by the Chinese government in its efforts to advance rural education. Using data from the China Education Panel Survey, we examine the impact of teacher quality on the cognitive gap between rural and urban students in China. We find that, first, the quality of teachers, as measured by academic qualifications and professional titles, significantly affects students' cognitive achievements. Second, middle and high achievers benefit more than their other peers from highly qualified teachers. Third, urban-rural discrepancy in teacher quality accounts for 9.06% of the cognitive gap on average. Our findings highlight the critical role of teacher quality in promoting educational equity and the importance of recruiting high-quality teachers for rural schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Zheng, Lei & Qi, Xiang & Zhang, Chongjiu, 2023. "Can improvements in teacher quality reduce the cognitive gap between urban and rural students in China?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:100:y:2023:i:c:s0738059323000573
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2023.102781
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