Learn to teach, teach to learn: A within-pupil across-subject approach to estimating the impact of teacher subject knowledge on South African grade 6 performance

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP01/2015
 
Publication date: 2015
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

This paper assesses the impact of teacher subject knowledge on student performance using a nationally representative dataset of grade 6 students in South Africa. Test scores in two subjects and correlated random error models are used to identify within-pupil across subject variation in performance. Teacher knowledge is estimated to have a positive impact on performance across both the poorer and wealthier subsets of schools once controlling for teacher unobservables. The results suggest that consideration needs to be given to contextual factors such as the quality of teacher training and the working environment within schools and their relationship to the manner in which teacher knowledge is transferred to students.

 
JEL Classification:

C30, I21, I24

Keywords:

teacher content knowledge, correlated random errors model, within-student, South Africa

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