A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
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Factors that Influence Student Achievement
This post is a follow up to "Why the best stay on top in the latest math and science tests". The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College not only provides standard tests but also data that allow to pinpoint factors that affect student outcomes. With the exams, contextual data are collected from students, teachers and schools, which then provide an avenue for understanding how school factors influence learning outcomes. From the 2011 results, the following factors are shown to be important:
adequate school resources for teaching the subjects
a school climate for academic success
teacher preparation in both content and pedagogy
engaging classroom instruction
Having sufficient classrooms (space) and teaching staff characterize students who have higher achievements. Schools whose students do well are those with teachers who have hardly reported any resource storage like overcrowding, inadequate work space, and supplies required to conduct classrooms. The school climate must support academic success. It must focus on achieving academic goals and provide an environment that is conducive to learning. Bullying in school has a strong negative effect on student performance highlighting the need for a school to be a safe and orderly environment for children. A well prepared teaching force is necessary for student achievement. Teacher quality comes from good preparation in subject content as well as pedagogy. But preparation is only one part. Experience counts - good students come from classes whose teachers have ten years of experience. And equally important, satisfaction in career counts. A teacher who is happy produces better students. The following video from YouTube provided by the International Study Center provides an excellent overview of how these factors affect learning outcomes:
The International Study Center has also provided encyclopedias detailing both data and exam results obtained from the participating countries:
TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior college ang karagdagang 2 tao…
There is information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…
Adam Alter's response to the question, "What's in a name?", is "Everything". We can pass judgment based simply on a person's name. Alter's article talks more about how names given to hurricanes influence donations. Apparently, if a hurricane shares the same initial as a person's name, that person is more likely to help the victims. Our biases toward names, however, can have a much more nefarious root. For instance, we can compare the two names, Greg and Darnell. Greg is typically a White name while Darnell is typically Black. Attach either one of these names in a teacher referral for discipline to a principal and one can find that the punishment is influenced by the name. The name Darnell gets the shorter end of the stick. This is precisely what researchers in Berkeley have recently found in a study of how middle and high school principals in a school district in the Southeastern United States make disciplinary decisions.