Improving education quality in Egypt: an analysis of teacher effects on student outcomes
Improving education quality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a topic of prime importance for promoting regional economic development and curbing the rising tide of extremism. While regional governments currently engage in education reform, little quantitative knowledge on factors affecting education quality in the MENA exists. To help fill this knowledge gap, this study examines teacher pedagogical effects on student mathematical achievement in Egypt. Information on teacher effects on student learning will provide insight into how Egypt can engage in meaningful education reforms and will provide guidance to other MENA governments on reform initiatives. Using pooled data from the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) eighth grade mathematics test in Egypt, this study uses weighted least squares regression analysis to answer the following questions: (1) What pedagogical methods significantly affect 8th grade students' overall academic achievement in mathematics in Egypt? and; (2) What pedagogical methods affect 8th grade students' analytical and problem solving skills? This study finds that one pedagogical method significantly matters in explaining student outcomes: students of teachers who regularly encourage independent problem-solving are associated with higher test scores. The effects of other pedagogical methods, however, could not be determined with the available data. In light of analysis results, this study concludes with policy guidelines for Egypt and other MENA governments. Policy recommendations include emphasizing pedagogical methods that encourage independent thought in the classroom, increasing the number of hours devoted to mathematics study, and encouraging participation in university-level education among all citizens.
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