Comparing opportunity to learn and student achievement gains in southern African primary schools: A new approach
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 33, Number 5, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
A popular explanation for low student achievement in many developing countries’ primary schools is that students have relatively little opportunity to learn (OTL) the skills needed for academic success. However logical this explanation may be, surprisingly little empirical evidence has been presented to support it. In this paper we address this gap by estimating the effect of OTL on students’ academic performance using rich data we gathered on the teaching process in a large number of South African and Botswana Grade 6 classrooms. We use an innovative classroom fixed effects approach to estimate the impact of OTL on students’ mathematics achievement gains. We found statistically significant but very different results for our South Africa and Botswana samples. The discussion of those results in the context of differences in the two school systems gives us insights into the importance and limits of OTL as an explainer of student learning in low achievement schools.
Reeves, C., Carnoy, M. & Addy, N. (2013). Comparing opportunity to learn and student achievement gains in southern African primary schools: A new approach. International Journal of Educational Development, 33(5), 426-435. Elsevier Ltd.