EDUCATIONAL QUALITY AND EQUITY IN SOUTH AFRICA: EVIDENCE FROM TIMSS 2015
Abstract: Aim:This study aims to investigate the relationship between teacher qualification and characteristics, teacher instructional quality, students’ family socioeconomic background, and student mathematics achievement with the South Africa data from TIMSS 2015.Theory:The dynamic model of educational effectiveness, proposed by Creemers and Kyriakides (2008) in understanding variables within each level and across different levels related (such as student-level and classroom-level), and Input-Process-Outcome (IPO) model, proposed by Goe (2007) was used as the theoretical framework which leads the selection of variables and was operationalized with the achievement and contextual data available in South Africa TIMSS 2015 data.Method:Two-level structural equation models were estimated at student and classroom-levels using Statistic Software Program SPSS Version 25 for proper data management to make the variables appropriate to be analysed in Mplus Version 8.3.Results:No significant relationship between teacher qualification and characteristics, teacher instructional quality, and student average mathematics achievement was found. Teacher characteristics and teacher instructional quality had no relationship to the classroom average mathematics achievement. However, teacher characteristics were3significantly related to teacher instructional quality, indicating teachers with a higher level of confidence offered a higher quality of instruction, as required by their students. Teachers with experience, and level of formal education, and teachers who focus on either mathematics or mathematics education had no association with the classroom mean mathematics achievement. The context of classroom SES composition was found to be the strongest classroom-level factor, strongly associated with increased variations (inequity) in classroom average mathematics achievement scores of South African students. Student-level SES significantly affect mathematics achievement, but the effects were not strong at the student-level.
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