Malaysia is a country with a Chinese minority which makes up roughly 25% of the whole population. The Chinese minority sector in Malaysia operates its own educational system and schools, teaching students mainly in Chinese (Karpudewan & Chua, 2016). Chinese education in Malaysia began in 1819. In 1954, the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (UCSCA or Dong Zong) was established to defend and develop Chinese language education and aims to achieve the sustainable development of Chinese education. It works with the United Chinese School Teachers’ Association of Malaysia (UCSTA or Jiao Zong) to uphold the ethnic rights of the Chinese minority. The two associations are known by the acronym of Dong Jiao Zong (Dong Zong and Jiao Zong) (Dong Zong, 2017). Independent schools are operated by Dong Jiao Zong instead of by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. Any rules and regulations in these schools are different from those in the governmental schools. Students who go to Malaysian independent Chinese secondaryschool have an additional academic year of upper secondaryschool, similar to the secondaryschool system in the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. The Malaysian high school chemistry book (Upper SecondarySchool Chemistry) is edited by the Malaysia Independent Chinese SecondarySchool Working Committee (MICSS) and is based on the chemistry syllabus for secondary schools. There are three volumes of upper secondaryschool chemistry textbooks for students from grade 10 to grade 12. In this study, the Upper SecondarySchool Chemistry Textbook for grade 10 students (MICSS, 1996; later called MY1) was analyzed. 3
The study is based on data from the "Wired into Each Other: Network Dynamics of Adolescents in the Light of Status Competition, School Performance, Exclusion and Integration” project of the Hungarian Research Center for Education and Network Studies. The sample includes seven secondary schools from Hungary: two from the capital, two from a major city in Eastern Hungary, and three from nearby smaller towns. As one of the research goals was to examine social inclusion, a selection criterion of cities was the existence of Roma minority. Another restriction of the sample was the quota for school types: either in the case of Budapest, in the major city and in the smaller towns, grammar schools and schools providing vocational training were included. As in the research we used this targeted sampling, the sample cannot be considered as representative of the region or Hungary. The target group includes all students of the selected schools, who were in 9th grade in the academic year 2010-11. This study uses wave 1 of the data collection, carried out two and half months after the students entered secondaryschool (9th grade) in 2010, using paper and pencil questionnaire. At the time of the data collection their median age was 15.2 years.
In a city as segmented as Brussels, with its layer-cake neighbourhoods of residen- tial, social, and ethnic segregation (Kesteloot, Vandermotten et al., 2001; Jacobs and Swyngedouw, 2000), it is particularly interesting to study young people’s social relationships with each other, especially at school, which is assumed to be a social area that brings together people of various backgrounds. We thus conducted a quantitative survey of secondaryschool pupils in the French-speaking schools of Brussels in March 2006. The questionnaire, which concerned lifestyles, racism, and fears of crime, was given to 646 students enrolled in thirteen of the fourteen secon- dary schools in the French-speaking network of Brussels’ central borough, that is, “Brussels-City” or downtown Brussels 1 . This sample was fairly representative of the students in this educational network, given that it covered more than two-thirds of the students enrolled in the various forms of secondary education (general, techni- cal, vocational, and artistic) of the francophone schools led by the municipal gov- ernment. However, it cannot claim to be representative of “Brussels youth”, given the selective enrolment mechanisms that exist in secondary education, especially in the Brussels Region. Despite this limitation, this survey gives some insights into the diversity of the different “layers” of Brussels youth according to at least three major variables: social background, ethnic background, and type of schooling. Of the multitude of data that we obtained we have chosen to concentrate in this article on a few subjects for which the outcomes proved particularly unexpected, especially when it comes to racism and crime (or the fear of crime). The following analyses are valid only for the sample of young people who were surveyed, of course. Extending
This paper studies whether specialized academic fields of study in secondaryschool, which are common in many countries, affect earnings as an adult. Identification is challenging, because it requires not just quasi-random variation into fields of study, but also an accounting of individuals’ next-best alternatives. Our setting is Sweden, where at the end of ninth grade students rank fields of study and admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student’s GPA. We use a regression discontinuity design which allows for different labor market returns for each combination of preferred versus next- best choice, together with nationwide register data for school cohorts from 1977-1991 linked to their earnings as adults. Our analysis yields four main findings. First, Engineering, Natural Science, and Business yield higher earnings relative to most second-best choices, while Social Science and Humanities result in sizable drops, even relative to non-academic vocational programs. Second, the return to completing a field varies substantially as a function of a student’s next-best alternative. The magnitudes are often as large as estimates of the return to two years of additional education. Third, the pattern of returns for individuals with different first and second best choices is consistent with comparative advantage for many field choice combinations, while others exhibit either random sorting or comparative disadvantage. Fourth, most of the differences in adult earnings can be attributed to differences in college major and occupation. Taken together, these results highlight that the field choices students make at age 16, when they may have limited information about their skills and the labor market, have effects which last into adulthood. JEL Classification: I26, J24, J31
Our analysis focuses on the role of family income and home environment in mediating the effect of parental job loss on whether adolescents complete secondaryschool. Our preferred measure of family income approximates permanent income prior to potential job loss by combining five variables: total household income referring to 2007, total household expenditure referring to 2006 and 2007; the estimated value of the home in 2007; the size of home in 2007; the extent to which the household experienced economic hardship starting with the birth of the child through 2006. The income and expenditure measures are converted into per capita terms using an equivalence scale (OECD-modified scale), and the size of home is divided by household size. We created the percentile rank of each measure separately and then took an average of these percentile rankings to create our measure of permanent family income before the potential job loss. This average rank measure of permanent income is distributed in a more bell-shaped than uniform manner but covers a wide range from 2 to 98 percent, with a mean of 59 percent. Appendix table 2 shows more details of the permanent income measure and its components in the entire sample as well as in the subsamples that we define below.
successful learning (e.g., Stoeger, Steinbach, Obergriesser, & Matthes, 2014). For schools at the lower and upper secondaryschool level in Switzerland, some studies showed that teachers rarely create learning environments that might require meta- cognitive competencies (e.g., Leutwyler & Maag Merki, 2009; Pauli et al., 2007). In this regard, Leutwyler (2009) mentioned that the curricula at Swiss high schools may not support teachers in including metacognitive thinking in their lesson plans. Another possible explanation is that teachers lack suﬃ cient knowledge about meta- cognition to be able to create such learning environments (Zohar, 2012). It is also possible that teachers might not have seen the importance of fostering students’ MSK in this school type, because they overestimated their students’ strategic skills. However, the results indicate that interindividual diﬀ erences in students’ MSK over time exist. MSK might have decreased in some of the students and stayed stable or increased in other students. With the data of this study, it is not possible to explain these interindividual changes of MSK over time. In the literature, extracurricular experiences and the extent and intensity of students’ strategic activities are dis- cussed as possible factors (Hasselhorn & Labuhn, 2010; Karlen et al., 2014).
This paper provides a comprehensive study on how attending a Swedish independent upper secondaryschool, instead of a public school, affects students’ academic and short-term post- secondary outcomes. We apply two estimation methods to data on upper secondary applicants: 1) A value-added model (VAM), where we, in addition to detailed student background characteristics, also control for student preferences for independent provision, as stated in the application forms. 2) A regression-discontinuity (RD) estimation around admission cutoffs to independent versus public schools. As the RD-results are overall too imprecise to provide much guidance, they are presented in an appendix to the paper. The more precisely estimated results using VAM suggest a positive independent school effect on: final GPA, test results in English and Swedish, the likelihood of graduating on time, and attending post-secondary education. We however also find indications of more lenient grading practices among independent schools, and we cannot rule out that all of the independent school advantage reflects more generous grading standards. Results from a school level analysis reveals that the average independent school impact masks substantial variation. Notably, schools with a higher share of qualified teachers tend to exhibit smaller GPA-gains, but also show signs of adhering to stricter grading standards. JEL-Codes: H440, I210, I260, I280.
Questions about the advantages and disadvantages of sending young children to formal day care (“Kindertageseinrichtungen”) have always greatly concerned parents and led to intense, if not always well informed, policy debate. Two issues have been foremost. One is whether young children removed from their parents’ care for part of the day suffer long term emotional consequences, or whether on the contrary, inter- action with other children and with carers improves their social skills and confidence. Results are generally positive for children over three years old, but mixed for children under three, with some studies indicating negative socio-emotional consequences (Rossbach, 2005), and others reporting no negative emotional results and clear gains in social competence (Tietze, 1998; Andersson, 1989, 1992; NICHD, 2000, 2001). The second issue, dealt with in this article, relates to children’s school outcome. Do children who have been to formal day care which exposes them to some pre-school learning achieve better, the same, or worse educational results in their later school years? If they do better, how long does the advantage last? Does it persist through to secondaryschool?
TU Darmstadt, Physics Education Research Group, Hochschulstrasse 12, Darmstadt, Germany Electric circuits are an important element of physics classes in Austria, Germany, and most countries around the world. However, many students leave secondaryschool without having an adequate conceptual understand- ing of simple circuits. Voltage in particular has proven to be a difficult concept as students think of it as a property or component of the electric current. Furthermore, research has shown that girls tend to have a lower interest in physics than boys and that context-based physics instruction is a promising approach to increase girls’ interest. However, it is unclear whether decades of research on students’ conceptual difficulties e.g. with volt- age as well as research into ways to promote girls’ interest have had a significant impact on physics classrooms. For this reason, the conceptual understanding of electric circuits as well as the interest in physics of N = 1207 traditionally taught students in Germany and Austria was assessed using a valid and reliable multiple-choice test. The empirical evaluation of the data shows that female students are still not as interested in physics as their male peers, despite achieving the same total learning gain in the multiple-choice test. An analysis of two items of the test instrument focusing on potential differences furthermore suggests that traditional instruction still fails to provide students with an adequate conceptual understanding of voltage as an independent physical quantity that refers to a difference in electric potential between two points in a circuit. These results highlight the need to develop research-based curricula on electric circuits that take into account the findings on students’ interests and alternative conceptions.
grade (in 2005). The corresponding numbers are calculated using two different waves of the data so that both groups under examination consist of pupils from approximately the same cohorts. Results from Table 4 indicate that most of the fifth graders have already been tracked to the ‘classical’ secondaryschool levels: The majority of them attends the higher secondary track (38 %) while the intermediate and lower secondary levels are less popular (14 % and 5 % respectively). Furthermore, 15 % of all fifth graders attend fully comprehensive schools and 28 % opt for the ‘support stages’. The latter group of pupils is mostly streamed to secon- dary levels after sixth grade (except of those 2 % who decide to attend fully comprehensive schools): Pupils tracked in seventh grade mostly join the intermediate (46 %) or even the lower level (32 %) schools. There are no feasible gender differences when tracking to the sec- ondary levels takes place after fourth grade. However, for the pupils tracked after the ‘support stage’, girls tend to choose higher educational tracks compared to their male classmates.
b German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
We employ a psychometrically validated performance test to study economic competence among a large and representative sample of early secondaryschool students in Southwest Germany. The rich dataset allows us to study variation in economic competence across school types and observable student characteristics. Our results show that economic competence is significantly lower among female students, migrants, students with parents of low socio- economic status and those who do not attend the highest track school type. Additionally, quantile regression analyses suggest that the gender gap increases along the distribution of economic competence and that effects of parents with high socio-economic status are more pronounced above the median of the competence distribution. Our analysis sets the stage for a long-term study of economic competence among secondaryschool students and the impact of a recent curriculum reform introducing mandatory economic education.
The negative effect from expanding secondaryschool enrolment that we estimate is consistent with a previous literature that considers the effect of mandatory schooling laws on teenage birth outcomes (Black, Devereux and Salvanes (2008) and Fort, Schneeweis and Winter-Ebmer (2016)). There are two major differences from these papers to our context. First, in contrast to the above literature, the expansion of secondary schools in Brazil affects a very different population margin, allowing us to investigate effects for a margin of the population not necessarily affected by changes in compulsory schooling laws. Second, different from the existing literature, we focus our analysis on a middle-income country. It is this focus that ultimately allows us to consider the effect of the very rapid expansion of secondary schools over a relatively short period. As a number of middle and low income countries are still to go through expanding their secondary education system, our results are relevant to understand the (positive) externalities expanding secondary education opportunity may have through substantial reductions in underage fertility.
Heightened policy and research interest in student absenteeism is prefaced on the well- documented correlation between student absences and educational outcomes representing a causal relationship. While it makes intuitive sense that absences harm student achievement, causal identification of the relationship remains a persistent challenge (Jacob and Lovett, 2017) because unobserved time-varying, student-level shocks, such as illness or lack of sleep, can affect both students’ attendance and their academic performance. In the current study, we overcome the threat posed by such shocks by using a decade’s worth of rich administrative data from a large urban school district in California that include the date and class period of each absence. We focus our analysis on secondary schools, as students in secondaryschool have far more absences (and agency over those absences) than students in elementary school. Our identification strategy exploits within-student, between-subject differences in ab- sences in a given school year to remove the threat posed by unobserved student-year shocks. We examine the relationship between absences and student achievement using two strategies, both of which rely on two assumptions that we demonstrate are likely to hold: first, that in a given school year, within-student differences in absences in math and English language arts (ELA) are conditionally random; and second, that any spillover effects of absences in one subject on academic mastery in another are relatively trivial. The first empirical approach we employ is a proxy plug-in solution (Wooldridge, 2010), similar to twins-based identification strategies (Ashenfelter and Krueger, 1994), in which we use absences in math to control for the time-varying, subject-invariant factors that cause absences in order to identify the im- pact of ELA absences on ELA achievement, and vice versa. The second approach is similar:
2 Data and Design of the Intervention
As part of a study on career orientation and career guidance, 527 German secondaryschool pupils were surveyed in two German cities: Mannheim and Freiburg. Pupils from all three secondaryschool tracks were included: the Gymnasium (upper and most general track), the Realschule (intermediate, more vocational track) and the Werkrealschule (lower, most vocational track). The rst survey was performed by means of a paper-and -pencil questionnaire in the classroom in spring 2014. The same researcher went to all classrooms to present the study, distribute the questionnaires and answer any questions the pupils had. One year later, in spring 2015, all pupils who had agreed to be contacted again at the time of the rst survey (326), received an invitation to participate in the second survey by email or by post. It was announced at the time of the rst survey that participants to the second survey would receive a voucher for an online shop. A large set of individual and family characteristics is available in the dataset.
knowledge and understanding between 2004 and 2010, with a small, insignificant decline between 2010 and 2013 (ACARA, 2014). Given the perceived importance of knowledge assessment (MCEETYA, 2006, 2009; Torney-Purta et al., 2001), this initial increase might be interpreted as a long-term outcome reflecting a constant interest in civics and citizenship education over the past two decades. Moreover, the focus on history and knowledge that was identified with previous initiatives mirrors the finding that secondaryschool students’ perceptions of good citizenship behaviors highlight cognitive aspects of citizenship – learning about history and politics. These activities appear to be considerably more important to students’ understanding of citizenship nowadays than in 1999. We may partly attribute this to efforts in Australian civics and citizenship education, although we need to be careful with our conclusion as CIVED used a bipolar scale (but see Note 5).
Notes: Each cell represents a separate regression. In addition to municipality of residence and upper
secondaryschool starting year fixed effects, all regressions include controls for: compulsory school GPA (quadratic), age at enrolment (dummies), each parent’s educational attainment (3 levels), whether both parents are foreign-born, each parent’s age (linear), missing data on parents’ education, the father’s employment status, the father’s earnings (linear), and whether the father has been convicted of crime. The (potentially) endogenous variable takes the value one if the individual enrolled in a three-year (or longer) track and zero if he/she enrolled in a two-year track. The instrument is the share of available vocational tracks in the municipality of residence at the time of enrollment which constituted three-year tracks. Robust standard errors in parentheses allow for clustering by municipality of residence. */**/*** denotes significance on the 10/5/1 percent level. In Panel B–C, the students are divided into sub-groups based on the grade distribution among the male upper secondaryschool students. The first stage coefficients in Panel A−C are .357 (.008), .586 (.012), and .141 (.012), respectively.
supportive learning climate, trusting students) are mainly present in Slovene language classes in comparison to maths classes, particularly at the elementary school level. Elementary school students gave higher grades to items concern- ing the learning climate and trusting students in Slovene language, compared to maths. Secondaryschool students assessed the clarity of rules and student obligations and paying attention in class higher in maths than in Slovene lan- guage. Although maths and Slovene curricula (Učni načrt matematika, 2011; Učni načrt slovenščina, 2011) emphasize, in addition to educational goals, personal development, the development of communication skills, critical ap- proach and independence, an essential difference in the students’ perception of teachers’ work in maths and Slovene language classes has been detected. This is assumed to be connected with the teaching contents of each particular subject. Modern curricula are designed for goal-based learning, meaning that teachers should observe goals and not the contents (teaching contents are subordinated to educational goals), and they should enable students to develop appropriate competencies to operate in the knowledge society. The question is whether the education systems for maths and Slovene teachers differ in their fundamental premises, or whether teachers of different subjects understand their roles dif- ferently or class dynamics are to the greatest extent defined by the teaching contents, which in Slovene language classes presupposes communication and the inclusion of pupils with their views and opinions. Nevertheless, the same should take place in maths classes. Conception building, in-depth understand- ing of the teaching contents, and linking various concepts cannot be achieved or is underachieved in classrooms where the teacher is less diligent in establish- ing a participative culture and including pupils in direct educational work.
dents with learning disabilities (LD 4 ) in various secondaryschool voca- tional programs in comparison with their peers without disabilities. Our findings are based on an empirical study that comprised 417 students, 5 of whom 85 were students with LD. Based on sociometric analyses of all participating classes, we determined that students with LD were less inte- grated into the classroom in comparison to their peers without LD. The results of the sociometric analysis show statistically significant differences in the sociometric position between students with LD and students with- out LD. While students with LD were most frequently perceived as re- jected, students without LD were seen as popular or average. In addition, students with LD see themselves as less socially self-efficient compared to their peers. The results of our study mostly refer to boys, because the sam- ple comprised 359 boys and 58 girls. We believe that pro-inclusion teachers with appropriately developed strategies for strengthening students’ social skills, as well as positive attitudes and sufficient knowledge about the spe- cial needs of students can have a significant impact on the social accept- ance of students with special needs in the classroom community.
In this context, one of the weaknesses in much of the literature to date has been a focus on how potential determinants, such as socioeconomic status (SES), impact on the ‘conditional mean’ of secondaryschool performance. Using standard regression techniques, such as ordinary least squares (OLS), most previous studies have tended to ignore the possibility that some determinants of performance may have very different effects at different points of the performance distribution. In fact, analysing the entire distribution of academic performance, as opposed to just the conditional mean, is crucial. This is because significant information is likely to be concealed by a mean analysis if some factors have meaningfully different impacts at say low and high levels of achievement. Moreover from a policy perspective, where progression to college is rationed, the effects of a given variable on attainment at different quantiles can have very different implications. This is because attainment at lower quantiles may determine whether an individual progresses to college, while attainment at higher quantiles may determine which higher education institution (HEI) they chose to study at, or which course of study they pursue. Therefore, in this paper, we estimate whether a range of factors such as gender, social class and school type have differential effects on upper secondary attainment for lower and higher ability students. This analysis, which is unique in the Irish context and rare
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Shortening the duration of secondaryschool can enable earlier and potentially longer labor force participation and therefore contribute to the sustainability of tax and social security systems. Such a reform could also improve the transfer of know-how across generations that is required to ease rising shortages of skilled workers as baby-boom generation workers leave the labor market. For these reasons, it can have positive effects for society in general. However, shortening the duration of secondaryschool has some adverse effects on academic achievement in secondaryschool, on the choice of a college education, and on academic achievement in university. In addition, since secondaryschool is a formative period in the development of a student’s personality, some related negative effects have been identified as well. Moreover, in all these dimensions, differences between genders have been shown. The findings have several implications for policymakers. In reducing the duration of secondaryschool, curricula adjustments should consider not only the standards to be achieved but also any excessive burdening of students. Students’ orientation problems, in terms of performance difficulties and less well defined occupational tastes and talents related to the choice of a university education program should be taken into account when designing university preparatory schooling curricula. Particular aspects of students’ personality traits and development should be considered so as to avoid unintended side effects. Finally, given the clear differences in effects by gender for all outcomes, gender-specific behavior and requirements should receive special attention.