Newsletter 193 - Nic Spaull - Educational Research Links
I think Nic Spaull is simply great and prolific when it comes to posting educational research. Here is his latest contribution...Enjoy!
Useful new research:
- Fundamentally important new Working Paper (May 2018) by Prof Martin Gustafsson on "Understanding the sharp primary level enrolment increases beginning in 2011 in SA" --> My favourite line in the conclusion "It would have been good to have this information earlier as planning and adjusting the schooling system takes time." Classic Martin!
- Great book on "Reading Fluency: Current Insights from Neurocognitive Research and Intervention Studies" (2016 edited volume by Springer) - we need much of this style of quantitative research on reading fluency in African languages.
- Looking through RTI's recent list of publications I'm really impressed at how much they are doing both in implementation (they are USAID's main implementation partner in education) and in research. Lots of universities like to say they are are about both 'research' and 'impact' - RTI is probably the most productive university-that-isn't-a-university in the world. Here are three of their recent publications in the field of early literacy: "What We Have Learned in the Past Decade: RTI’s Approach to Early Grade Literacy Instruction" (Bulat et al. 2017) - I love their 5 T's!, "Effectiveness of teachers' guides in the Global South: Scripting, learning outcomes, and classroom utilization" (Piper et al., 2018) - super important given the successes of EGRS in SA, "What works in early reading materials" (Robledo & Gove, 2019).
- I briefly jumped back into the language-in-education research to see if there were any updates and these three are really worth reading:
- "Implementing Mother Tongue Instruction in the Real World: Results from a Medium-Scale Randomized Controlled Trial in Kenya" (Piper et al 2015),
- "Examining the secondary effects of mother-tongue literacy instruction in Kenya: Impacts on student learning in English, Kiswahili, and mathematics"(Piper et al 2018) - a useful caution using additional findings to those of the 2015 paper, although I'm a little skeptical given how short the baseline-endline comparison was, and of course
- "Estimating the impact of language of instruction in South African primary schools: A fixed effects approach" (Taylor & Von Fintel, 2016).
- SciHub - (Note that for those who don't have access to these journals via a university I am told that typing "sci hub" into Google and then going to SciHub and inserting the DOI number of the article will provide access to pretty much any academic article
- "PASEC2014 Education System Performance in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa: Competencies and Learning Factors in Primary Education. PASEC is like SACMEQ but for Francophone Africa. This is a really comprehensive report. Bravo to CONFEMEN and the research team who put it together.
- Brahm Fleisch's new (2018) book "The Education Triple Cocktail, The System-wide instructional reform in South Africa" - I'll be speaking about this with Brahm and Jonathan Jansen in Cape Town next week Thursday (7 March 2019 at 6pm) at Juta HQ in Claremont.
- The BuaLit Collective has written a paper titled "How are we failing our children? Reconceptualising language and literacy education" (Oct 2018). Irrespective of whether I agree or disagree with the perspectives put forward in the paper, it is still useful to have this written down to engage with. Science moves forward when we can engage in rigorous ways with what other researchers are doing.
I think I already posted the links below but it can't hurt to do it again: