Starting Behind and Staying Behind in South Africa: The case of insurmountable learning deficits in mathematics
Nicholas Spaull () and
Janeli Kotze ()
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Janeli Kotze: Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch
No 27/2014, Working Papers from Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics
This study quantifies a year’s worth of mathematics learning in South Africa (0.3 standard deviations) and uses this measure to develop empirically-calibrated learning trajectories. Two main findings are, (1) only the top 16% of South African Grade 3 children are performing at an appropriate Grade 3 level. (2) The learning gap between the poorest 60% of students and the wealthiest 20% of students is approximately three Grade-levels in Grade 3, growing to four Grade-levels by Grade 9. The paper concludes by arguing that the later in life we attempt to repair early learning deficits in mathematics, the costlier the remediation becomes.
Keywords: Mathematics; Learning Trajectories; South Africa; Hierarchical Learning; SACMEQ; TIMSS (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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