Evaluating teaching quality

Teaching quality counts: how student outcomes relate to quality of teaching in private and public schools in India

Speaker: Dr Renu Singh, Country Director, Young Lives India
Date: 6 September, 2013, 3.30-5 pm

This study draws on data from the Young Lives research in Andhra Pradesh, India, and examines how teaching quality in government and private schools are related to student outcomes in mathematics. Teaching quality is seen as an amalgamation of teacher characteristics (such as content knowledge, experience, and professional qualifications) as well as teacher practices.

Student outcome is measured by mathematics test scores of 862 children across 227 government and low fee charging private schools. A factor analysis of teaching quality and its impact on the learning outcomes of children, reveals that controlling for lagged test scores of children and several household-, child-, class- and school-level characteristics, children in private schools have a significantly higher (at 1 per cent) mathematics score than children in government schools.

A key finding is that while characteristics of teachers like experience, gender, content knowledge and subject specialisation do not have any significant influence on children’s learning outcome, teaching practices such as regularity in checking homework and factors such as the proximity of the teacher's residence to the school and teachers’ attitude towards the children, as well as teachers’ perceptions of their schools, are important determinants of students’ test scores. The analysis did not find any significant difference in the effectiveness of teachers with professional teaching qualifications, after controlling for other factors.

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