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What can Teachers do to Raise Pupil Achievement?


  • Monazza Aslam
  • Geeta Kingdon


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 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 résumé 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Monazza Aslam & Geeta Kingdon, 2007. "What can Teachers do to Raise Pupil Achievement?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2007-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Abdulmumini Baba Alfa & Abdulmumini Baba Alfa & Mohd Zaini Abd Karim, 2016. "Student Enthusiasm as a Key Determinant of their Performance," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 237-245.
    2. Schwerdt, Guido & Wuppermann, Amelie C., 2011. "Is traditional teaching really all that bad? A within-student between-subject approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 365-379, April.
    3. Marine De Talance, 2017. "Quality Perceptions and School Choice in Rural Pakistan," Working Papers hal-01663029, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. Bernhard Enzi, 2017. "The Effect of Pre-Service Cognitive and Pedagogical Teacher Skills on Student Achievement Gains: Evidence from German Entry Screening Exams," ifo Working Paper Series 243, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Nadir Altinok & Geeta Kingdon, 2012. "New Evidence on Class Size Effects: A Pupil Fixed Effects Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(2), pages 203-234, April.
    7. Marine de Talancé, 2016. "Quality perceptions and school choice in rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2016/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    8. Comi, Simona Lorena & Argentin, Gianluca & Gui, Marco & Origo, Federica & Pagani, Laura, 2017. "Is it the way they use it? Teachers, ICT and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 24-39.
    9. Vaclav Korbel & Michal Paulus, 2017. "Do Teaching Practices Impact Socio-emotional Skills?," Working Papers IES 2017/04, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Feb 2017.
    10. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:15-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    12. Nadir Altinok & Geeta Kingdon, 2012. "New Evidence on Class Size Effects: A Pupil Fixed Effects Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(2), pages 203-234, 04.

    More about this item


    teacher characteristics; pupil fixed-effects achievement; government and private middleschools; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education


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