Newsletter 140 - Education Research Sites, Documents, Other

Education Research courtesy of Nic Spaull

Research ARTICLES:

Other Research:

  1. My Masters thesis: Equity & Efficiency in South African primary schools : a preliminary analysis of SACMEQ III South Africa Although I suspect most people say this, it really is interesting and accessible :)
  2. (POLICY BRIEF) Identifying policy priorities to improve outcomes for poor primary school learners
  3. (Book review) – ‘The Gospel According to Banerjee and Duflo‘ – a book review of “Poor Economics”, published in Development Southern Africa Volume 29, Issue 1, 2012 (forthcoming)

2013 RESEP Education Reading Group

During 2013 RESEP will be hosting a bi-weekly reading group where we discuss important readings in the field of education and the economics of education. I include the papers we will discuss each week below:

  1. [26 Feb] Pritchett & Beatty (2012) “The negative consequences of overambitious curricula in developing countries
  2. [12 Mar] Ferreira Gignoux (2013) “The measurement of educational inequality: Achievement and opportunity
  3. [26 Mar] Elmore (2004) Agency, Reciprocity and Accountability in Democratic Education.
  4. [9 Apr] Schlotter, Schwerdt and Woessman (2009) Methods for causal evaluation of education policies and practices: An econometric toolbox

Some core journal articles on South African education:

This list is not a definitive list of important journal articles on South African education, it is my selection, and I’m open to other suggestions. Secondly, as far as I am aware, there is no breach of copyright here since the books are either open-source (like HSRC) and the articles are available elsewhere on the internet.


  1. Ball, D, Hill, H & Bass, H. (2005). Knowing Mathematics for Teaching: Who knows mathematics well enough to teach third grade, and how can we decide? American Educator (Fall 2005).
  2. Bruns, B., Filmer, D., & Patrinos, H. (2011). Making Schools Work: New evidence on accountability reforms. Washington DC: World Bank.
  3. Carnoy, M., Chisolm, L., et al,  (2008). Towards Understanding Student Academic Performance in South Africa: A Pilot Study of Grade 6 Mathematics Lessons in South Africa. Pretoria: HSRC.
  4. Carnoy, M., Chisholm, L., & Chilisa, B. (2012). The Low Achievement Trap: Comparing Schooling in Botswana and South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  5. Case, A., & Deaton, A. (1999). School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114(3), 1047-1084.
  6. Crouch, L., & Mabogoane, T. (2001). No magic bullets, just tracer bullets: The role of learning resources, social advantage, and education management in improving the performance of South African schools.Social Dynamics, 27(1), 60-78.
  7. DBE. (2011).  Macro Indicators Trends. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.
  8. Department of Basic Education. (2011). Report on the Annual National Assessments of 2011. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.
  9. Department of Education. (2008). Grade 3 Systemic Evaluation 2007 Leaflet. Pretoria: Department of Education.
  10. Donalson, A. (1992). Content, Quality and Flexibility: The Economics of Education System Change. Spotlight 5/92. Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations.
  11. Elmore, R. (2004a). Agency, Reciprocity, and Accountability in Democratic Education. Cambridge, MA: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.
  12. Elmore, R. (2008). Leadership as the practice of improvement. In OECD,Improving School Leadership. Volume 2: Case Studies on System Leadership (pp. 37-67). Paris: OECD Publishing.
  13. Fiske, E., & Ladd, H. (2004). Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-apartheid South Africa. Washington: Brookings Institution Press / HSRC Press.
  14. Fleisch, B. (2008). Primary Education in Crisis: Why South African schoolchildren underachieve in reading and mathematics. Cape Town. : Juta & Co.
  15. Gustafsson, M., & Mabogoane, T. (2010). South Africa’s economics of education: A stocktaking and an agenda for the way forwardStellenbosch Economic Working Papers: 06/10.
  16. Hanushek, E., & Woessmann, L. (2008). The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic DevelopmentStanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Working Paper No. 07-34.
  17. Hoadley, U. (2010). What doe we know about teaching and learning in primary schools in South Africa? A review of the classroom-based research literature. Report for the Grade 3 Improvement project of the University of Stellenbosch. Western Cape Education Department.
  18. Hoadley, U., & Ward, C. (2009). Managing to Learn: Instructional Leadership on South African Secondary Schools. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  19. Howie, S., Venter, E., Van Staden, S., Zimmerman, L., Long, C., Du Toit, C., et al. (2008). PIRLS 2006 Summary Report: South African Children’s Reading Literacy Achievement. Pretoria: Center for Evaluation and Assessment.
  20. Loveless, T. (2005). Test-Based Accountability: The Promise and the Perils.The Brookings Institution No. 8, 7-45.
  21. Macdonald, C. & Burroughs, E. Eager to talk and learn and think – Threshold Project.
  22. Moll, P. (1998). Primary schooling, cognitive skills, and wage in South AfricaEconomica, 65(258), 263-284.
  23. Pretorius, E. 2014. Supporting transition or playing catch-up in Grade 4? Implications for standards in education and training. Perspectives in Education. 32 (1), pp 51-76.
  24. Taylor, N. 1989. Falling at the First Hurdle: Initial encounters with the formal system of African education in South Africa. Research Report #1. EPU. (via JET Education).
  25. Taylor, N., Muller, J., & Vinjevold, P. (2003). Getting Schools Working. Cape Town: Pearson Education.
  26. Taylor, N., Fleisch, B., & Shindler, J. (2008). Changes in Education since 1994. Pretoria: The Presidency: Input into the 15 year review process.
  27. Van der Berg, S. (2007). Apartheid’s Enduring Legacy: Inequalities in EducationJournal of African Economies, 16(5), 849-880.
  28. Van der Berg, S. (2008). How effective are poor schools? Poverty and educational outcomes in South Africa. Centre for European, Governance and Economic Development Research (CEGE) Discussion Papers 69.
  29. Van der Berg, S., Burger, C., Burger, R., de Vos, M., du Rand, G., Gustafsson, M., Shepherd, D., Spaull, N., Taylor, S., van Broekhuizen, H., and von Fintel, D. (2011). Low quality education as a poverty trap. Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch, Department of Economics. Research report for the PSPPD project for Presidency.
  30. Yamauchi, F. (2011). School quality, clustering and government subsidy in post-aparteid South AfricaEconomics of Education Review, 146-156.
  31. Prinsloo, C. & reddy, V. 2013. Educator leave in the South African public schooling system. HSRC Policy Brief
  32. Taylor, S. 2012. A note on matric results and trends. Research note (*Very useful)
  33. Shalem, Y. (2003). Do we have a theory of change? Calling change models to accountPerspectives in Education, 21(1), 29-49.

Some RESEP articles on education in South Africa:

  1. Gustafsson, M. (2012). The gap between school enrolments and population in South Africa: Analysis of the possible explanations. Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers WP 23/2012.
  2. Gustafsson, M. (2012). More countries, similar results. A nonlinear programming approach to normalising test scores needed for growth regressions. Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers WP 12/2012
  3. Gustafsson, M. & Taylor, S. (2013). Treating schools to a new administration. The impact of South Africa’s 2005 provincial boundary change on school performanceStellenbosch Economic Working Papers WP 28/2013.
  4. Shepherd, D. (2011). Constraints to School Effectiveness: What prevents poor schools from delivering results? Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers 05/11. [PIRLS]
  5. Spaull, N. (2011a). A Preliminary Analysis of SACMEQ III South Africa.Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers.
  6. Taylor, S. (2011). Uncovering indicators of effective school management in South Africa using the National School Effectiveness StudyStellenbosch Economic Working Papers 10/11, 1-51. [NSES]
  7. Taylor, S., & Yu, D. (2009). The Importance of Socioeconomic Status in Determining Educational Achievement in South AfricaStellenbosch Economic Working Papers.
  8. Taylor, S. & Coetzee, M. (2013) Estimating the impact of language of instruction in South African primary schools: A fixed effects approach. Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers WP 21/2013
  9. Van der Berg, S., & Louw, M. (2006). Lessons Learnt from SACMEQII: South African Student Performance in Regional Context. Investment Choices for Education in Africa. Johannesburg.
  10. Van der Berg, S, & Van Broekhuizen, H. (2012). Graduate unemployment in South Africa: A much exaggerated problemStellenbosch Economic Working Papers WP ss/2012.

Background to South Africa (economics):

  1. Leibbrandt, M., Wegner, E., & Finn, A. (2011). The Policies for Reducing Income Inequality and Poverty in South Africa. University of Cape Town. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Reserch Unit Working Paper Number 64.
  2. Leibbrandt, M., Woolard, I., Finn, A., & Argent, J. (2010). Trends in South African income distribution and poverty since the fall of apartheid. Paris: OECD Publishing. (!)
  3. Nattrass, N., & Seekings, J. (2010). The Economy and Poverty in the Twentieth Century in South Africa. Centre for Social Science Research Working Paper No. 276. (!)
  4. Van der Berg, S. & Moses, E. (2012). How better targeting of social spending affects social delivery in South Africa.

Background to SACMEQ:

  1. Hungi, N., Makuwa, D., Ross, K., Saito, M., Dolata, S., van Capelle, F., et al. (2011). SACMEQ III Project Results: Levels and Trends in School Resources among SACMEQ School Systems. Paris: Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality.
  2. Hungi, N., Makuwa, D., Ross, K., Saito, M., Dolata, S., van Capelle, F., et al. (2011). SACMEQ III Project Results: Pupil achievement levels in reading and mathematics. Paris: Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality.
  3. Ross, K., Saito, M., Dolata, S., Ikeda, M., Zuze, L., Murimba, S., et al. (2005). The Conduct of the SACMEQ III Project. In E. Onsomu, J. Nzomo, & C. Obiero, The SACMEQ II Project in Kenya: A Study of the Conditions of Schooling and the Quality of Education. Harare: SACMEQ.
  4. Murimba, S. (2005) SACMEQ Mission, Approach and Projects. Prospects, vol. XXXV, no. 1, March 2005

Some other stuff

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