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System-wide improvement of early-grade mathematics: New evidence from the Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy

Brahm Fleisch, Volker Schöer (), Gareth Roberts and Amy Thornton ()

International Journal of Educational Development, 2016, vol. 49, issue C, 157-174

Abstract: This article reports on a two-year evaluation of the Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy (GPLMS), an innovative system-wide reform intervention designed to improve learning outcomes in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Using data from universal testing of all learners in 2008 on a provincial systemic evaluation, as well as data from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Annual National Assessment tests, this article investigates whether or not the GPLMS improves the numeracy skills of learners in early-grade mathematics in underperforming schools. Using as identification strategy, the natural experiment that resulted from a miscalculation of the provincial systemic evaluation test scores in 2008, which had been used to assign schools to the GPLMS intervention, the study shows that the GPLMS intervention is positively associated with improvements in early-grade mathematics performance of schools in the neighbourhood around the assignment threshold. The findings of the study contribute to the growing body of knowledge that shows the effectiveness of combining lesson plans, learner resources, and quality teacher capacity building.

Keywords: GPLMS; System-wide education reform; Scripted lesson plans; Instructional coaching; Numeracy; Primary schooling; South Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:injoed:v:49:y:2016:i:c:p:157-174

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2016.02.006

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