Skip to content Skip to navigation

Student Achievement in Southern African Primary Schools: A Comparative Study of Northwest Province, South African and Botswana

Project Dates: 
January 2009-December 2011
Project Researchers: 
Martin Carnoy
Project Funders: 
Spencer Foundation

This project investigates educational policies in African countries, Botswana and South Africa, and applies a comparative focus measuring student achievement between 112 schools on either side of the Botswana/South Africa border. The study measured mathematics gains in the academic year 2009 of about 5,000 sixth grade students and related these gains to teacher math knowledge, time on task, teacher culture, curriculum covered, the quality of teacher mathematics teaching, language issues, and school conditions in the historical educational policy contexts of the three counties. Five issues of educational policy in the African setting are addressed: the opportunity to learn; curriculum policy; teachers’ mathematic, pedagogical, and content knowledge; the social and political context in which students, teachers, and schools function; and the quality of classroom teaching. Findings will be published initially as research reports, later as journal articles and a book.