Educational influences on student academic attainment: a multi-level analysis in the context of Bangladesh.
PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
Bangladesh has made significant progress in terms of improving student access and gender disparity at primary and secondary levels of education. Currently, the major concern is the quality of education. In the national interest, the government of Bangladesh has undertaken a number of intervention programmes to increase the quality of primary and secondary education. Recently, researchers and practitioners are more engaged in investigating the quality of education, particularly at primary and secondary levels, where they have focused on the following themes:
• internal efficiency
• achievement of basic competency
• acquisition of terminal competencies
• teacher education
• private expenditure on education
There has been little application of School Effectiveness Research (SER) in Bangladesh, though SER became one of the most important educational movements and discourses in the West and came to prominence very rapidly in other developed and developing countries, namely Australia, Canada, South Africa, Indonesia, China and India. Therefore, the current study is significant in that it explores contemporary issues in the Bangladesh education system, which influence student academic attainment and present the findings of the first school effectiveness study in Bangladesh using multi-level analysis.
Reviewing SER in other developed and developing countries, I discuss the status of SER in Bangladesh. This is followed by an assessment of the education system, educational management and policy making procedure at secondary level in Bangladesh to aid readers’ understanding. Different perspectives of what constitutes ‘school effectiveness’ are illustrated, in the light of important issues such as models and the theory of SER, effect size, consistency and stability. Various criticisms of SER are also illustrated, along with a number of counterpoints to justify the importance of SER. The significant methodological aspect (i.e. multi-level analysis with ‘value added’ approach) is introduced, along with other different types of statistical analysis, for example, descriptive and cross tabulation (chi-square) analysis and exploratory factor analysis. The normalised public examination scores of 2,462 students nested into 90 classes and 45 schools are analysed by means of multi-level modelling. The multi-level analysis of the data shows that most of the variations were found at the student level. A significant proportion of variations was also found at class level accounting for prior attainment, background factors and some class level process factors implying that teacher effect on pupil attainment is greater than school effect.
It is argued that it is possible to construct a model of school effectiveness in the Bangladeshi setting. The findings of my research indicate that factors external to the schools are more important than school level factors for academic attainment. Student academic attainment and academic self-concept were found to be positively correlated. The interrelation between the two variables is significantly higher at school level than at class and student levels. A significant proportion of variation in academic attainment was found to be at class level, implying that teachers ‘make the difference’, not schools and that the teachers who teach individual classes within the school are the key factors for effective teaching and learning outcome. Finally, the policy implications of my findings are discussed and a framework is proposed for measuring school effectiveness in Bangladesh.
Thesis (University of Nottingham only)
||Education and state, academic achievement, Bangladesh
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||09 Jan 2013 13:21
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