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Teacher Content Knowledge in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Math Assessment in El Salvador

Aymo Brunetti, Konstantin Buechel, Martina Jakob, Ben Jann (), Christoph Kuehnhanss and Daniel Steffen

Diskussionsschriften from Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft

Abstract: Education is one of the key resources in the fight against poverty. While substantial progress has been made in terms of school enrollment, evidence suggests that educational quality is still alarmingly low in many developing countries. Various explanations have been suggested, but one very obvious factor in the educational production function has received surprisingly little attention: the content knowledge of teachers. For this study, we administered an exam-type assessment to a representative sample of 224 primary school teachers in Morazan, El Salvador. The average teacher scored 47% correct answers on 50 questions covering the offcial math curriculum for second to sixth graders. Overall, our results point to an even more worrying situation than suggested by previous findings based on indirect measures of content-related teacher skills in several African countries.

Keywords: teacher content knowledge; quality of education; primary education; El Salvador (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I25 J24 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
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