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RESEP team members have been acknowledged for highlighting the value of a systems approach to education research. Following the recent release of a book, titled “The Politics and Governance of Basic Education – A Tale of Two South African Provinces” edited by Levy, Cameron, Hoadley and Naidoo, attention has since been given to a specific chapter contribution by RESEP team members Gabrielle Wills, Debra Shepherd and Janeli Kotze (a former PhD student who is now based at the Department of Basic Education). Their chapter 6 contribution, titled “Explaining the Western Cape performance paradox: an econometric analysis”, is considered by both Lant Pritchett in an earlier blog and more recently in a RISE blog post by Marla Spivack as providing a case for the importance of ‘systems’ as a critical determinant of learning.  

As Marla explains in her blog, dedicated to the findings of this chapter, the analysis “provides a concrete, compelling measurement of the importance of education of systems—relative to inputs to education like funding per-student, teacher qualifications, or school infrastructure—in determining student outcomes.”  A  link to the full blog post can be found here.

In addition, a recent blog post by one of the book’s editors, Brian Levi, builds on Marla’s piece, establishing links to some of the broader themes of the book.

The full chapter and book published by Oxford University Press can be downloaded here.