Third annual conference on Quantitative Applications in Education – 28 – 29 September 2017 (STIAS)
ReSEP held its third annual “Quantitative Applications in Education Research” conference at STIAS in Stellenbosch from 28 – 29 September 2017. It was co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Zenex Foundation as well as the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. A total of 110 participants from a range of backgrounds, including education researchers, policy-makers and PhD students attended the conference.
During her video address, Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, welcomed participants to the conference and expressed her support for the ongoing research conducted within the ReSEP group:
“I want to acknowledge the invaluable role played by the Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP) team in producing such rigorous research and the important links they maintain with the Department of Basic Education (DBE). We hope that this partnership continues in years to come, and is also extended to previously disadvantaged universities in order to increase the production of high quality, policy relevant research within the sector”.
Professor Servaas van der Berg gave the first presentation of the conference titled “How we’ve progressed” where he emphasized the improvements in TIMSS between 2003 and 2015, and also the large increase in the numbers of black matriculants receiving high-level passes in mathematics and science.
Two international keynote speakers, namely David Evans from the World Bank and Yuri Belfali from the OECD, respectively presented on “Getting the most out of our teachers: Lessons from recent quantitative research” and “International assessment for excellence and equity: Experiences from PISA for Development”.
Both presentations were well received by the audience eliciting a number of questions about the role of international assessments in education policy making and the politics of teacher reform in developing countries.
The first day of the conference ended with a panel discussion on “The practice of improvement: Getting from here to there” which was chaired by ReSEP’s Dr Nic Spaull and included panellists Prof Jonathan Jansen (UFS), Prof Brahm Fleisch (WITS), Prof Peliwe Lolwana (WITS) and Dr Itumeleng Molale.
The second day of the conference also included two parallel sessions where PhD students were given the opportunity to present their PhD proposals and ongoing research and gain valuable feedback from the conference participants.
The full program with links to all presentations can be found below:
28 September (Day 1)
- Minister Angie Motshekga – Video address.mp4
- Servaas van der Berg – The progress we’ve made…and the road to travel.pptx
- David Evans – Getting the most out of our Teachers: Lessons from recent quantitative research.pdf
- Linda Zuze – Family influences on early grade reading and maths.pptx
- Gabrielle Wills – What do you mean by ‘good’? Interrogating quality and choice preferences in South Africa’s non-fee paying primary schools.pdf
- Giles Gilette – Challenges and Opportunitis in building a data driven capability in Education.pptx
- Vijay Reddy – Linking school mathematics and jobs.pptx
- Stephen Taylor – The Early Grade Reading Study: Lessons after 3 years of implementation.pptx
- Panel discussion – The Practice of Improvement: Getting from Here to There.pptx
29 September (Day 2)
- Nompumelelo Mohohlwane – Benchmarking African languages
- Anil Kanjee – Improving teacher assessment practices: Evidence from year 1 of a randomised control trial.pptx
- Yuri Belfali – International Assessment for Excellence and Equity: Experiences from PISA for Development.pptx
- Nic Spaull – The Female Advantage in Higher Education in South Africa.pptx
- Marisa von Fintel & Servaas van der Berg – What a difference a good school makes! The impact of school quality on academic performance.pptx
One of the keynote speakers at the conference, David Evans, wrote a blog post summarising the conference. The original can be found here.
For any further information about the conference, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference on Quantitative Applications in Education – 19 – 20 September 2016 (STIAS)
On the 19th and 20th of September this year, RESEP hosted the “Conference on Quantitative Applications in Education” at STIAS. The conference was attended by 85 participants from government, academia and civil society, with a keynote address by the Minister of Basic Education Ms Angie Motshekga
In her address, the Minister highlighted the importance of basing education policy on rigorous research. The Minister reiterated the important links between her Department and the research community:
“I want to acknowledge the valuable work that has been generated by the RESEP group recently. And not only be those directly part of RESEP, but also by many others here today, who are part of a growing network of people focused on understanding the challenges of the education sector and on offering solutions that can be implemented at a policy level. The two reports released earlier this year by RESEP have been tremendously influential in shaping thinking around what should be the priorities in education policy. These are the report on “Binding Constraints” in the sector and the report on “Laying Firm Foundations” through getting reading right.”
The conference heard from two international researchers based at the Research Triangle Institute: Dr Luis Crouch and Dr Benjamin Piper. Further presentations were given by researchers from the Department of Basic Education, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Joint Education Trust (JET), as well as those based at the University of Johannesburg, the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Cape Town, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the University of Witwatersrand. Links to the powerpoint presentations can be found below:
- Servaas van der Berg (SU) – Education and Inequality
- Address by Minister Angie Motshekga
- Hendrik van Broekhuizen (SU) “Teacher supply in South Africa: A focus on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) graduate production”
- Luis Crouch (RTI) “We know the cost of information: do we know the value? An approach to valuing information for the SDGs’
- Wayne Hugo (UKZN) “The loss of power in powerful knowledge: the consequences for education policy of increasing inequality”
- Lara Ragpot (UJ) “The effect of the ThinkMath intervention on low performing South African children’s early numeracy skills?”
- Vijay Reddy (HSRC) “Smooth, staggered or stopped? Educational transitions in the South African Youth Panel Study”
- Elizabeth Henning (UJ) and Nozipho Motolo (UJ) “School beginner numeracy assessment: an interview-based test in four languages”
- Eric Schollar “Evidence-based educational development: The Primary Mathematics Research Project”
- Janeli Kotzé (SU) “Challenging the odds: Schools performing above expectations”
- Brahm Fleisch (WITS) and Kerryn Dixon (WITS) “EGRS I Qualitative school and classroom study: North West”
- Benjamin Piper (RTI) – “Moving from RCT to national scale: Using impact evaluation results to inform national implementation”
- Carla Pereira (JET) “An evaluation of the DBE-JICA Mathematics Project”
- Stephen Taylor (DBE), Nompumelelo Mohohlwane (DBE) and Brahm Fleisch (WITS) “Evaluating the impact of three early grade reading interventions: interpreting the midline results”
- Chris van Wyk (SU) – “Education Data in South Africa”
- Kerwin Fortune (SU) “The relationship between student engagement and reading scores in South Africa: A mediation analysis”
- Surette van Staden (UP) “Social interaction determinants of South African Reading Literacy”
Quantitative Applications in Education Research – 17 & 18 August 2015 (STIAS)
For the full schedule please click here (PDF 432kb).
Speakers and Presentations:
- Dr Nicholas Spaull (Stellenbosch University): Exploring the relationship between oral reading fluency and comprehension among rural English-Second-Language learners in South Africa
- Prof Doug Willms (University of New Brunswick, Director of The Learning Bar): Educational prosperity: A life-course approach to monitoring childhood outcomes
- Prof Ursula Hoadley (UCT) & Jaamia Galant (UCT): Pedagogy and performance: The challenges of measurement
- Pheladi Fakude (North West University) / Dr Leketi Makalela (Wits): Barking at text: A study of Sepedi oral reading fluency: Implications for edumetric interventions in African languages
- Ntsizwa Vilakazi (DBE): Research inside the DBE: Analysing matric results and Annual National Assessments across schools and districts
- Dr Stephen Taylor (DBE): Measuring the impact of educational interventions
- Prof Peliwe Lolwana (Wits): Youth, skills development and employment
- Prof Hamsa Venkatakrishnan (Wits): Assessing early number learning: How useful is the Annual National Assessment in Numeracy?
- Prof Servaas van der Berg (Stellenbosch University): How much learning is taking place in primary grades? What we can infer from ANA
- Prof Brahm Fleisch (WITS): What Works in Classrooms? Building an evidence base using randomised control trials – recent efforts
- Prof Wilima Wadhwa (ASER Centre/Univ. of California, Irvine/Indian Statistical Inst. Delhi): Impact of early childhood education on early grade learning: The role of public vs private ECE participation — Evidence from India
- Debra Shepherd (Stellenbosch University): Balancing act: A semi-parametric method for estimating the local treatment effect of school type
- Dr Martin Gustafsson (DBE / Stellenbosch University): Moving beyond choropleth maps: Using geo-coordinates of schools to answer difficult education policy questions and understand internal migration better
- Gabrielle Wills (Stellenbosch University): A profile of the labour market for school principals in South Africa: Evidence to inform policy