President Ramaphosa announced on 15 March that schools would close within days for just over three weeks, as opposed to the originally planned one week of school holidays. This is in line with steps taken across the world to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. This is a sudden change of plan, and closures may be extended. What should South Africans look out for? What can they do to limit the adverse effects of this disruption on education?
RESEP education research has a strong emphasis on empirical research in a broad range of policy-related issues including teacher knowledge and training, early-childhood outcomes, accountability, socioeconomic status, and school effectiveness. Policy application is one of the central aims of the research.
The coronavirus pandemic working its way through South African society will have many knock-on effects, one of them will be hunger and malnutrition as 9-million children no longer receive free school meals while their schools are shut.
On the 20th and 21st of February 2020, RESEP convened a workshop on education research with participation from academics from the University of Bristol (UK), the University of Bath (UK), the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India), and Tribhuvan University (Nepal), as well as key policymakers and researchers from the DBE.
A recent paper by Martin Gustafsson shows that there have been significant improvements in reading in South Africa in recent years.
A revised PIRLS 2011 to 2016 trend for South Africa and the importance of analysing the underlying microdataStellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP02/2020
Given South Africa’s weak performance in international testing programmes, there is a strong interest in gauging improvements within these programmes.
This paper estimates correspondence curves between mathematics and mathematical literacy scores for South African Matric Students from 2010 to 2018.
Two recent papers by RESEP’s Martin Gustafsson look into, firstly, the historical trends between nations in children’s reading and mathematics performance and, secondly, their future projections. These are based on three international evaluations: PIRLS, PISA and LLECE.
The reduction of class size is frequently argued to be a relatively simple, cost-effective way to improve learner outcomes in a wide array of contexts. However, methodological concerns regarding the appropriate use of observational data and endogeneity have led to a lack of consensus on this relationship in the literature.
This paper will aim to answer three questions: (1) Are girls absent from school during their periods? (2) If so, how large is the effect of menstruation on absenteeism? (3) Do the effects differ by socio-economic status (SES)?
Socio-economic status and educational outcomes are strongly linked across countries and education systems. However, a growing body of research documents the existence of students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who manage to achieve exceptional academic results.
This paper analyses the SA-SAMS school administration data that the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in partnership with the Department of Basic Education collects quarterly from schools in order to assess its usefulness for better understanding the school system.
Over the period 2016 to 2018, RESEP were engaged in a study titled “Leadership for Literacy” funded by the ESRC/DFID. The project resulted in the collection of new data on reading in three African languages. In this research impact brief published by the REAL Centre, University of Cambridge, and The Impact Initiative, the impact of this work to establish tentative benchmarks in African languages is highlighted.
RESEP led an introductory training course on quantitative data analysis for researchers in education in Stellenbosch from 11 to 15 November. The course was attended by 29 participants working in education, and included graduate students, researchers, NGO memebers and policymakers from across South Africa. Funding was provided by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment as part of RESEP’s Early Learning Programme.
Wills, G., 2019. School leadership and management: Identifying linkages with learning and structural inequalities. In South African Schooling: The Enigma of Inequality (pp. 301-320). Springer, Cham.
Taylor, N., Wills, G. and Hoadley, U., 2019. Addressing the ‘leadership conundrum ’through a mixed methods study of school leadership for literacy. Research in Comparative and International Education, 14(1), pp.30-53.
Abstract: This paper investigates a disruption hypothesis that student learning is lost as a direct consequence of teacher strike action in South Africa. At face…
Book: Improving Early Literacy Outcomes Chapter: Assessing Early Literacy Outcomes in Burkina Faso and Senegal: Using DHS and PASEC to Combine Access and Quality https://brill.com/view/title/55194?lang=en…
Spaull, N. (2019). Learning to Read and Write for Meaning and Pleasure. In Spaull, N. & Comings, J. (Eds), Improving Early Literacy Outcomes. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill
Spaull, N. & Pretorius, E. (2019). Still Falling at the First Hurdle: Examining Early grade Reading in South Africa. In Spaull, N., & Jansen, J. (Eds), South African Schooling: The Enigma of Inequality. Springer Nature. Cham, Switzerland.