nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒08‒19
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Effects of Career and Technical Education: Evidence from the Connecticut Technical High School System By Eric Brunner; Shaun Dougherty; Stephen Ross
  2. Widening the high school curriculum to include soft skill training: impacts on health, behaviour, emotional wellbeing and occupational aspirations By Lordan, Grace; Mcguire, Alistair
  3. Instruction Time, Information, and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Simon Calmar Andersen; Thorbjørn Sejr Guul; Maria Knoth Humlum
  4. Healing a Wary, Self-cultivating Society through Education By Kim, Hisam

  1. By: Eric Brunner (University of Connecticut); Shaun Dougherty (Vanderbilt University); Stephen Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of admission to 16 stand-alone technical high schools within the Connecticut Technical High School System (CTHSS) on student educational and labor market outcomes. To identify the causal effect of admission on student outcomes, we exploit the fact that CTHSS utilizes a score-based admissions system and identify the effect of admission using a regression discontinuity approach. We find that male students attending one of the technical high schools are approximately 10 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school and 8 percentage points less likely to attend college, although there is some evidence that the negative effects on college attendance fade over time. We also find that male students attending a technical high school have quarterly earnings that are approximately 31% higher. Analyses of potential mechanisms behind these results reveal that male students that attend a technical high school have higher 9th grade attendance rates and higher 10th grade test scores. We find little evidence that attending a technical high school affects the educational or labor outcomes of women. These effects appear relatively broad based across different types of students in that we find little evidence of heterogeneity in these effects over student attributes like race and ethnicity, free lunch eligibility or residence in a poor, central city school district. However, when distinguishing between students based on the Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings of the high school that these students likely would have attended, we find that the effects of admission to a CTHSS school are noticeably larger when the counterfactual high school has less CTE offerings.
    Keywords: high school education, impact of education, test scores
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Lordan, Grace; Mcguire, Alistair
    Abstract: From 2020 the health and relationships aspects of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education will be compulsory in UK schools for adolescents. However less is known about how it can be taught in an effective manner. We examine, through a randomised trial, the impact of an evidenced based health related quality of life (HRQoL) curriculum called Healthy Minds that ran in 34 high schools in England over a four-year period. We find robust evidence that Healthy Minds positively augments many physical health domains of treated adolescents. We also find some evidence that Healthy Minds positively affects behaviour, but has no significant impact on emotional wellbeing. We find notable gender effects, strongly favouring boys. We also present evidence that Healthy Minds changes career aspirations, with those exposed to treatment being less likely to choose competitive work and more likely to choose work that involves “people-skills”. Overall our work illustrates the potential for later childhood interventions to promote HRQoL and develop the career aspirations of adolescents.
    Keywords: soft skills; health related quality of life; character; high school curriculum; personal; social; health and economic education
    JEL: I18 I20
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: Simon Calmar Andersen (Aarhus University); Thorbjørn Sejr Guul (Aarhus University); Maria Knoth Humlum (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Prior research has shown that time spent in school does not close the achievement gap between students with low and high socioeconomic status (SES). We examine the effect of combining increased instruction time with information to teachers about their students' reading achievements by using a randomized controlled trial. We find that the teachers' baseline beliefs are more important for low-SES students' academic performance, that the intervention makes the teachers update these beliefs, andnot leastthat the intervention improves the reading skills of low-SES students and thereby reduces the achievement gap between high- and low-SES students. The results are consistent with a model in which the teachers' beliefs about the students' reading skills are more important to low- than high-SES students, while at the same time, the teachers' beliefs are subject to information friction and Bayesian learning.
    Keywords: information, learning, field experiment
    JEL: I24 I28 D83
    Date: 2019–08
  4. By: Kim, Hisam
    Abstract: Can education improve Korea's self-cultivating society which has left its people untrusting of others? Reforming public education, particularly eliminating rote-based learning and encouraging horizontal and participatory classes, will enhance peer relationships, trust and cooperation to ultimately contribute to reversing the decline in social capital. - The significance of social capital, which is formed of interpersonal relationships and interaction, is recognized throughout society. - Amid the growing popularity of the "each to his own" mentality, Korea is experiencing a continuous decline in mutual trust. - The low degree of happiness in Koreans is due to the lack of social capital. - In Northern European countries that apply horizontal collaborative methods, people with higher education show stronger social trust. But, this is not the case for Korea and East European countries wherein one-sided lectures are more dominant. - How children are taught is more signifiant to the cultivation of social capital than what is taught. What is critical to fostering social capital is how to teach, not what to teach. - A high proportion (81%) of Korean respondents described high school as a 'battlefield.' - Korean undergraduates have low public trust and prefer self-help methods to collective solutions. - Korea has the lowest percentage of those who believe that the general public and government officials will meet social norms. - Korea shows low willingness to make donations and has weak solidarity. - About 73% of Korean respondents preferred a secluded residential environment for privacy protection over communication and interaction. - Korean undergraduates believe that as the level of education increases, the level of cooperative sprit decreases. - Social capital increased further among students who were more frequently exposed to PBL activities. - Students who received a horizontal-type education showed more increases in their network of friends and better perceptions about social capital at the end of the semester. - Peer relationships fostered in the course of horizontal interactions were found to improve perceptions and attitudes about social capital. - Having experienced random grouping in class, students became more receptive to cooperating with others who are unfamiliar. - Horizontal interaction could be enhanced by adopting constructivism through, for example, PBL and flipped classroom programs. - It is necessary to extend evaluation systems to an appropriate degree, such as team-based, absolute, student participatory and processfocused formats. - An innovative education environment such as bottomup changes in classes should be developed and HR systems for faculty need to be redesigned to go hand in hand with educational innovation. - Transforming teaching methods to be more horizontal and participatory is an important agenda that will contribute to not only enhancing social capital but also to fostering those with skills needed in the future.
    Date: 2018

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