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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Saadia Tayyaba

Recent educational research has demonstrated rural‐urban gaps in achievement and schooling conditions. Evidence from developing countries is still sparse. This study seeks…

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Abstract

Purpose

Recent educational research has demonstrated rural‐urban gaps in achievement and schooling conditions. Evidence from developing countries is still sparse. This study seeks to report rural‐urban disparities in achievement, student, teacher, and school characteristics based on a nationally representative sample of grade four students from four provinces of Pakistan. The study aims to take into account the limitations of previous research, mainly the issues of non‐representative samples and inadequate sampling techniques, by using proportionally adequate sample to address the potential differences in achievement of rural and urban students and how schooling, students and teacher‐related factors account for gap in achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary data source for the study was the 2006 national assessment survey of year four students in government school across four provinces in four core subjects. The sample design included a two‐stage stratified random sample, where the major strata of national interest were student and school gender, geographical location and region. First stage involved selecting schools and in the second stage students were selected from schools. The procedure of estimation involved computing the average of each group's achievement scores and attached standard errors, the gap of standard errors and statistical significance of standard errors at 0.05 level.

Findings

The results show that rural and urban students had comparable levels of achievement in some of the tested learning areas. In Balochistan province, rural students outperformed their urban counterparts in three out of the four tested subjects. In Punjab and Sindh, urban students performed significantly better in social studies and language tests; scores on social studies and language did not differ significantly across location in the North West. The differences appeared to be partly explained by variation in schooling conditions, students' home background, and teachers' characteristics. Teachers' training turned out to be decisive in determining students' achievement, whereas availability of resources and multi‐grade teaching was less important.

Originality/value

Recent educational research from around the world has demonstrated rural‐urban gaps in achievement and schooling conditions. Evidence from developing countries is still sparse. This study is the first attempt to report rural‐urban disparities in academic achievement, student, teacher, and school characteristics based on a nationally representative sample. The study has employed an appropriate sampling strategy and proportionally adequate sample to address the potential differences in achievement of rural and urban students in four provinces. The findings could therefore be used to guide policy interventions in areas of curriculum differences, schooling conditions, teachers' training and multi‐grade teaching across provinces.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2010

Saadia Tayyaba

The general objective of this paper is to investigate the mathematics achievement of middle grade students in Pakistan. Specifically: to determine whether mathematics…

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1447

Abstract

Purpose

The general objective of this paper is to investigate the mathematics achievement of middle grade students in Pakistan. Specifically: to determine whether mathematics achievement varies systematically across students and schools; to what extent the mathematics curriculum and frameworks are implemented in schools; to what extent gender and location account for differences in mathematics achievement (at item and test scores levels); to what extent student demographics, home background, and homework variables predict mathematics achievement; to what extent schools' physical and academic resources predict mathematics achievement; and to what extent student‐ and school‐level variables interact to predict achievement indirectly.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was to undertake a quantitative survey of 14,440 students from 770 schools across the country. The analytic strategy included item‐level Rasch analysis, DIF analysis across gender and regional location, and MLM analysis to test various student‐ and school‐level models.

Findings

Rasch analysis indicated that students were able to pass low‐rigour items requiring simple mathematical skills. The DIF analysis indicated that items favouring female students in either content domain belonged to knowledge of concepts to recall basic facts, terminologies, numbers, and geometric properties. Items favouring male students in either domain belonged to the problem solving level. MLM analysis revealed that at the student level, gender, location, and some home background and homework variables contributed towards mathematics achievement. At the school level, availability of learning resources and better physical facilities were found to be associated with increase in achievement scores.

Research limitations/implications

Only a few major variables with policy and research implications were tested to keep the interpretations clear and simple. The next stage of this study could examine the more complex pattern of relationships and interactions among relationships for subgroups.

Practical implications

The study has implications for a review of the gender gap in school enrolment, the national curriculum for mathematics, homework policy, the role of regional languages as a medium of instruction in schools, the provision of school resources, and learning aids in schools.

Originality/value

The paper shows that the estimated models were successful in explaining the variation in average achievement in terms of proportion of variance explained and significance of estimates of the effects.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2010

Professor Brian Roberts

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392

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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