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How much progress do children in Shanghai make over one academic year? Evidence from PISA

Anders, J; Jerrim, JP; McCulloch, A; (2016) How much progress do children in Shanghai make over one academic year? Evidence from PISA. AERA Open , 2 (4) 10.1177/2332858416678841. Green open access

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Abstract

Since its entry into the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009, the Chinese province of Shanghai has been the top-performing economy within these international rankings. Many have interpreted this as demonstrating how Shanghai has a “world class” education system, the most effective teaching methods, and the best schools. This article questions such interpretations of the PISA results. Specifically, we argue that statements about school and school system quality require information on the progress that children make during their time at school, which the PISA rankings do not provide (at least not directly). Our empirical analysis then uses a “fuzzy” regression discontinuity design approach to demonstrate how a rather different perspective of Shanghai’s performance in PISA emerges once pupils’ academic progress over one particular school year is considered. Our key finding is that the first year of upper secondary school in Shanghai adds essentially no value (on average) to children’s PISA reading, science, and mathematics test scores.

Type: Article
Title: How much progress do children in Shanghai make over one academic year? Evidence from PISA
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/2332858416678841
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858416678841
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: PISA, Shanghai, East Asia, regression discontinuity design, value-added
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522127
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