AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMPACT OF TEACHER QUALITY AND “OPPORTUNITY GAP” ON STUDENT SCIENCE ACHIEVEMENT IN CHINA
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This study aims to better understand questions related to the impact of teacher quality and access to qualified teachers in China. A large-scale data set collected in 2010 in China was used along with concurrently collected teacher questionnaires. In total, surveys from 9,943 8th grade students from 343 middle schools in 6 provinces were used, along with 2,084 teacher questionnaires from each of the sampled schools. Multilevel (or hierarchical linear) statistical modeling analyses along with multivariate analysis of variance were completed to investigate the impact of science teacher characteristics on student achievement and whether there was an “opportunity gap” between high and low socioeconomic status (SES) students’ access to qualified science teachers in the subject of biology, physics, and earth and space science. In this research, little evidence was found to support the claim that teacher-related factors are consistently related to student achievement in science, while school-level SES was considered in the model. However, school-level SES was consistently found to be an influential factor of student science achievement. In addition, it was discovered that, in China, a disparity was found between high and low SES schools with respect to access to quality teachers.
Key wordsopportunity gap science teacher characteristics science teacher quality student achievement
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