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“Teaching to teach” literacy

Machin, Stephen, McNally, Sandra and Viarengo, Martina (2016) “Teaching to teach” literacy. CEP Discussion Paper (1425). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Significant numbers of people have very low levels of literacy in many OECD countries and, because of this, face significant labour market penalties. Despite this, it remains unclear what teaching strategies are most useful for actually rectifying literacy deficiencies. The subject remains hugely controversial amongst educationalists and has seldom been studied by economists. Research evidence from part of Scotland prompted a national change in the policy guidance given to schools in England in the mid-2000s about how children are taught to read. We conceptualise this as a shock to the education production function that affects the technology of teaching. In particular, there was phasing in of intensive support to some schools across Local Authorities: teachers were trained to use a new phonics approach. We use this staggered introduction of intensive support to estimate the effect of the new ‘teaching technology’ on children’s educational attainment. We find there to be effects of the teaching technology (‘synthetic phonics’) at age 5 and 7. However, by the age of 11, other children have caught up and there are no average effects. There are long-term effects only for those children with a higher initial propensity to struggle with reading.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
T Technology > T Technology (General)
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I21 - Analysis of Education
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I23 - Higher Education Research Institutions
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 10:02
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 04:56
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/66443

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