nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒12‒09
three papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. A laptop for every child? The impact of ICT on educational outcomes. By Hall, Caroline; Lundin, Martin; Sibbmark, Kristina
  2. The Difference Between Normalized Gain g and Effect Size Cohen’s d for Measuring the Improvement of Student’s Scientific Literacy By Setiawan, Adib Rifqi
  3. School Tracking and Mental Health By Böckerman, Petri; Haapanen, Mika; Jepsen, Christopher; Roulet, Alexandra

  1. By: Hall, Caroline (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lundin, Martin (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Sibbmark, Kristina (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: Classrooms all over the world are becoming increasingly technologically advanced. Many schools today provide a personal laptop or tablet to each pupil for use both in the classroom and at home. The intent of these 1:1 programs is that information and communication technology (ICT) should be extensively involved in the teaching of all subjects. We investigate how pupils who are given a personal laptop or tablet, rather than having more limited computer access, are affected in terms of educational performance. By surveying schools in 26 Swedish municipalities regarding the implementation of 1:1 programs and combining this information with administrative data, we estimate the impact on educational outcomes using a difference-in-differences design. We find no significant impact on standardized tests in mathematics or language on average, nor do we find an impact on the probability of being admitted to upper secondary school or the students’ choice of educational track. However, our results indicate that 1:1 initiatives may increase inequality in education by worsening math skills and decreasing enrollment in college-preparatory programs in upper secondary school among students with lower educated parents.
    Keywords: technology; computers; one-to-one; student performance
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2019–11–06
  2. By: Setiawan, Adib Rifqi
    Abstract: As an undergraduate from Physics Education, I began teaching of Biology at the secondary school on 22 July 2018 until 30 June 2019 when I acceded to come back at primary school, both Islamic Madrasah. Teaching at the Islamic Madrasah is a hassle because I should consider my perspective on Islam in teaching. However, teaching at the Islamic Madrasah is not and should not be considered a burden or chore that just needs to be done. It is a crucial part of moslem scholar, as we all want to do scientifically sound research and we should all strive to be effective teachers. Through teaching, we are responsible for the education of the next generation of islamic peoples, who will use their own unique ideas and skill sets to advance their society. Teaching, in general, should not be seen as a hassle in scholar, but rather as a skill to be developed and a responsibility to be taken seriously. Teaching does not have to decrease research productivity, it can greatly enhance research if we allow it to. One of my evidence about this statement is my experience and work. After a year devoted to spruce up the teaching of Biology, I produced a series of work on scientific literacy related Biology, that continues my undergraduate thesis, which was related Physics. In these works, I wrote about my experiences teaching Biology in Islamic Madrasah. Then, I became think to reconsider my method on measuring student learning. Measuring student learning is a complicated but necessary task for understanding the student’s improvement and effectiveness of instruction. I have curious about the the difference between normalized gain g and effect size Cohen’s d for measuring the improvement of student’s scientific literacy. I used normalized gain g in my undergraduate thesis nor my first work on Biology Education, then used effect size Cohen’s d on my latest work on scientific literacy in teaching of Biology. I see need reasons for using one or both of them, to be explained in any writings on educational research. So, in this work I investigate about my curiousity. My investigation focused on the implications on claims about student learning that result from choosing between one of two metrics. The metrics are normalized gain g, which is the most common method used in Physics Education Research (PER), and effect size Cohen’s d, which is broadly used in Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) including Biology Education Research (BER). Data for the analyses came from the research about scientific literacy on Physics and Biology Education from courses at institutions across Indonesia. The results showed that the two metrics lead to different inferences about student learning. First, normalized gain g being biased in favor of populations with higher pretest means. Second, effect size Cohen’s d may mitigate the limitations of these metric for measuring the learning of high or low pretest populations of students by accounting for the distribution of tests scores. Third, by comparing the two metrics across all data, effect size Cohen’s d is larger than normalized gain g in these cases for the same size change in the means. This work reveals that the bias in normalized gaing can harm efforts to improve student’s scientific literacy by misrepresenting the efficacy of teaching practices across populations of students and across institutions. This work, also, recommends use effect size Cohen’s d for measuring student learning, based on reliability statistical method for calculating student learning. In addition, using effect size Cohen’s d would allow scholars to use their work in subsequent studies and meta-analyses, align with the practices of the larger education research community, nor facilitating more cross-disciplinary conversations and collaborations as well.
    Date: 2019–10–01
  3. By: Böckerman, Petri (Labour Institute for Economic Research); Haapanen, Mika (Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics); Jepsen, Christopher (University College Dublin); Roulet, Alexandra (INSEAD)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of a comprehensive school reform on mental health. The reform postponed the tracking of students into vocational and academic schools from age 11 to age 16. The reform was implemented gradually across Finnish municipalities between 1972 and 1977. We use difference-in-differences variation and administrative data. Our results show that there is no discernible effect on mental health related hospitalizations on average even though the effect is precisely estimated. Heterogeneity analysis shows that, after the reform, females from highly-educated families were more likely to be hospitalized for depression.
    Keywords: tracking age, comprehensive school, mental health, depression, hospitalization
    JEL: I12 I26 I28
    Date: 2019–10

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