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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

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Book part
Publication date: 21 September 2006

Niels-Hugo Blunch

Most of the empirical literature on child labor considers work per se, independent of the nature or extent of work. This study fills this void by examining child work that…

Abstract

Most of the empirical literature on child labor considers work per se, independent of the nature or extent of work. This study fills this void by examining child work that directly conflicts with the schooling of children in Ghana. It finds evidence of a cultural bias in the way questions regarding working status are perceived. Additionally, the study addresses shortcomings of the empirical analyses of previous studies related to collapsibility, spatial heterogeneity and specification testing. While a substantial share of children who work rather than attend school are forced away from schooling by poverty, an alarmingly high share report that school is “useless” or “uninteresting.” This should be of concern to policymakers. Eradicating poverty is not enough to “send children back to school” – norms, traditions, and perceptions must be changed, as well.

Details

Children's Lives and Schooling across Societies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-400-3

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Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2010

Chanyoung Lee and Peter F. Orazem

The health consequences of child labor may take time to manifest themselves. This study examines whether children who began working at a young age experience increased…

Abstract

The health consequences of child labor may take time to manifest themselves. This study examines whether children who began working at a young age experience increased incidence of illness or physical disability as adults. When child labor and schooling are treated as chosen without consideration of unobserved abilities or health endowments, child labor appears to have small adverse effects on a wide variety of health measures. Some adverse health consequences such as heart disease or hypertension seem unlikely to be caused by child labor. However, when we allow unobserved health and ability endowments to alter the age of labor market entry and years of schooling completed, the joint effects of child labor and schooling on health become larger while the less plausible health consequences lose significance. Results imply that delaying entry into child labor while increasing time in school significantly lowers the probability of early onset of physical ailments such as back problems, arthritis, or reduced strength or stamina. However, our methods are not able to distinguish between the health impacts of child labor from the impacts of reduced time in school.

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Child Labor and the Transition between School and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-001-9

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

David Eddy-Spicer, Melanie Ehren and Mukdarut Bangpan

The collection and dissemination of standardized performance information about students, teachers, schools and school systems offer potentially important tools for school

Abstract

Purpose

The collection and dissemination of standardized performance information about students, teachers, schools and school systems offer potentially important tools for school accountability and resource allocation as well as school improvement in developing countries. However, performance monitoring systems in developing countries are in many cases copied from those in high-income countries without a clear understanding of their functioning in contexts of limited resources and capacity for change. The purpose of this paper is to examine the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which system-wide performance monitoring affects school-level organization and processes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Design/methodology/approach

The review employs realist synthesis because of the complexity and dynamism of conditions in LMICs, the wide variability in available literature and the aim of explaining how particular organizational outcomes arise, given particular conditions. The authors draw on findings from a systematic review of 22 studies and reports, published since 2001, related to the implementation of performance monitoring.

Findings

The findings highlight key barriers to the use of data to inform school accountability and improvement. Capacity to collect, interpret and use data is an important condition to both effective external accountability as well as improvement of schools.

Originality/value

The review uses realist approaches to building middle-level theories to help scholars, educational advisers, policy makers and educational leaders understand the causal processes that result in certain outcomes from monitoring activities and to identify the conditions that are necessary for those processes to have the desired outcomes.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Book part
Publication date: 5 June 2018

Victoria Door and Clare Wilkinson

Dewey argues throughout Democracy and Education that schooling plays a powerful role in forming how we are disposed towards democracy. Disposition underlies and determines…

Abstract

Dewey argues throughout Democracy and Education that schooling plays a powerful role in forming how we are disposed towards democracy. Disposition underlies and determines both thinking and activity. A disposition which operates habitually tends to maintain the moral, social and intellectual status quo. A humane democracy demands a disposition which both challenges existing conditions and is concerned to change them for social well-being. A student’s experience at school would ideally need to be one which supports the motivation and skills to foster such a democracy. Dewey claims that we dispose ourselves to think in particular ways. If our mental processes are habitual then teaching and pastoral care may be done in a way that might impose rigidity of thought on students. If the intelligent concern for social well-being is missing from our thinking, the educational experience we offer provides neither model nor means for the development of a humane democracy. Using vignettes from our own experience as educators, together with our interpretation of Dewey’s thinking in Democracy and Education and How We Think, we consider how our own mental processes as educators and dispositions which underlie them might impact for good or for ill on students’ day-to-day experience. We argue that the main responsibility for conditions of experience falls on policymakers, school leadership, management and teachers, who, we conclude with Dewey, should aim to be aware of their disposition and its manifestation in thinking and activity in order to create conditions which make schooling a truly democratic experience.

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Dewey and Education in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-626-8

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2019

Charlene Tan

The purpose of this paper is to respond to a recent article published in this journal by Stoll and Kools (2017) on the “School as a Learning Organisation” (SLO). It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to respond to a recent article published in this journal by Stoll and Kools (2017) on the “School as a Learning Organisation” (SLO). It critiques Stoll and Kools’ integrated model of a SLO by investigating whether the model can be applied to a specific socio-cultural schooling context using the example of mainland China.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the extant published works on SLO with a focus on Stoll and Kools’ integrated model of a SLO. The paper also reviews the existing literature on schooling practices in China.

Findings

It is argued that the application of Stoll and Kools’ integrated model of a SLO in China needs to take into consideration and incorporate the prevailing centralised, hierarchical and collective characteristics in the country.

Research limitations/implications

The paper questions the universal application of the seven action-oriented dimensions of the SLO for all schools regardless of socio-cultural contexts. It highlights the mediating and moderating effects of local histories, conditions and developments when promoting SLO in a specific learning site.

Practical implications

Policymakers, researchers and educators need to contextualise the ideal of the SLO by interpreting and appropriating it in ways that are compatible with the dominant socio-cultural norms and practices in a particular locality.

Originality/value

This paper fills a current gap by relating the notion of SLO model to the schooling settings in China. It offers a collective slant to SLO that is tailored for the educational realities and experiences in China.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Patrice Milewski

The purpose of this paper is to examine the historical roots of the modern relationship between health and education. The author draws on the work of Michel Foucault and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the historical roots of the modern relationship between health and education. The author draws on the work of Michel Foucault and Georges Canguilhem to make the case that the transformation of medical knowledge in the early nineteenth century created new ways knowing that was the foundation of a modern relationship between health and education.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the archives of ophthalmology, the author demonstrates how new medical knowledge and scientific methods were the basis of investigations of the eyesight of school children in the early nineteenth century. These investigations reflected the nineteenth century scientific ethos that placed a premium on techniques such as counting, measuring, statistical reasoning, and empirical observation to form the grounds of legitimacy of an autonomous “objective” knowledge. The modern relationship between health and education was an instance of a generalized medico-scientific interest in the health of populations that utilized the methods of empirical positivist science whose speculative interest was aimed at defining the normal.

Findings

Scientific investigations of the eyesight of school children in the early nineteenth century contributed to the formation of an anatomo-politics of the body and a biopolitics of population through a “medical mathematics” that defined a relation between eyesight, health and education.

Originality/value

This study illustrates how sources such as the archives of ophthalmology can broaden and deepen our understanding of the relation between health and education.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Book part
Publication date: 26 October 2015

Gerald K. LeTendre and Alexander W. Wiseman

Research has already uncovered a great deal of evidence about the individual and organizational qualities that enhance effective teaching and the kinds of qualifications…

Abstract

Research has already uncovered a great deal of evidence about the individual and organizational qualities that enhance effective teaching and the kinds of qualifications (attributes) that are associated with effective teaching and learning. From a research perspective, increased precision and specificity in the definition and refinement of specific concepts (e.g., pedagogical content knowledge) will increase academic knowledge about the relationship between teacher characteristics, working conditions, and the quality of instruction that takes place. This knowledge may have little effect on policy formation. From a policy perspective, a holistic or organic conception of teacher quality will be critical for effective policy formation and implementation. At some point, academic knowledge about different aspects of effective or “quality” teaching need to be connected to a general concept of a quality teacher in order to be effectively inserted into policy debates and the general media. Systematic use of academic knowledge is often hindered by either the narrow focus of the research, or by its limited application to actual teacher practice. In spite of these limitations in academic research, there are areas where academics, policymakers, and practitioners have achieved consensus or are converging on shared constructs of promise. In other areas, both academic and political debates seem locked into conflict over constructs related to teacher quality. Identifying these three broad categories of consensus, convergence, and conflict provides a broad framework to assess the kinds of research and the kinds of reform that need to be carried out in order to promote and sustain teachers’ development and implementation of their professional skills in the classroom.

Details

Promoting and Sustaining a Quality Teacher Workforce
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-016-2

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2016

Douglas B. Downey

Most social scientists believe that schools serving the disadvantaged provide considerably poorer learning environments than schools serving advantaged students. As a…

Abstract

Most social scientists believe that schools serving the disadvantaged provide considerably poorer learning environments than schools serving advantaged students. As a result, schools are thought to be an important source of social problems like inequality. However, an important subset of research employing seasonal comparisons (observing how achievement gaps change when school is in versus out) disputes this position. These studies note that socioeconomic-based gaps in skills grow faster when school is out versus in, suggesting that achievement gaps would be larger if not for schools. I discuss the advantages of seasonal comparison studies and how they provide a more contextual perspective for understanding several important questions, such as: (1) What is the distribution of school quality? (2) How does inequality outside of school condition the way schools matter? and (3) Which policies, school or non-school, most effectively reduce achievement gaps? I conclude that our understanding of how schools influence inequality would be improved by employing the more contextual perspective offered by seasonal comparisons. Seasonal comparison studies have not played a meaningful role in public discussions and so the public lacks a proper understanding of the extent to which social context shapes achievement gaps. This is unfortunate because we continue to try and address achievement gaps primarily through school reform when the real source of the problem lies in the inequalities outside of schools.

Details

Family Environments, School Resources, and Educational Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-627-0

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Kenneth Leithwood, Jingping Sun and Catherine McCullough

The purpose of this paper is to test the effects of nine district characteristics on student achievement, explored the conditions that mediated the effects of such…

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1246

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the effects of nine district characteristics on student achievement, explored the conditions that mediated the effects of such characteristics and contributed to understandings about the role school-level leaders play in district efforts to improve achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for the study were provided by the responses of 2,324 school and district leaders in 45 school districts to two surveys. Student achievement evidence was provided by multi-grade provincial measures of math and language achievement. The analysis of these data included calculation of descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis and regression mediation analysis.

Findings

Seven of nine district characteristics contributed significantly to student achievement and three conditions served as especially powerful mediators of such district effects. The same three conditions, as well as others, acted as significant mediators of school-level leader effects on achievement, as well.

Practical implications

District characteristics tested in the study provide a powerful framework for guiding the district improvement work of senior educational leaders. The organizational improvement efforts of both district and school leaders would be substantially enhanced by a better understanding of how to diagnose and improve the status of those conditions acting as significant mediators of the effects of both district and school leadership on student achievement.

Originality/value

This is one of a very few large-scale quantitative studies examining the extent to which characteristics frequently identified by district effectiveness research explain variation in student learning. It is also one of the very few studies identifying classroom, school and family variables that mediate district effects on such learning. The study also adds to a growing body of evidence about variables which mediate school leaders’ effects on such learning.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 57 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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