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Title: The effect of pupil, teacher, school and district characteristics on pupils' academic achievement in Ghana
Author: Nyatsikor, Maxwell Kwesi Graves
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 5249
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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The study utilised secondary datasets from the 2013 Ghana National Education Assessment and teachers' data to explore the connections that might exist between specific pupil, teacher, school and district characteristics in relation to primary level pupils' achievement in Mathematics and English Language. The total study sample comprised 18,420 pupils involving 9,764 primary grade 3 pupils and 8,656 primary grade 6 pupils, drawn from 265 and 250 schools respectively. The weighted sample equivalents are 284,404 and 252,235 for primary grade 3 and primary grade 6 pupils respectively. The bio-ecological systems theory and the psychological theory of educational productivity were adapted to model the connections between specific variables in the dataset and educational achievement. Data were analysed using independent-samples t-test, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, hierarchical multiple regression and multilevel modelling techniques. There were statistically significant differences in the achievement of boys and girls at both grade levels. With the exception of primary grade 3 English Language achievement, boys outperformed girls in the remaining subjects. A statistically significant positive relationship was found between primary grade 3 pupils' age and achievement in both subjects whereas a statistically significant negative relationship was found for the primary grade 6 sample. Of the variables explored, the type of school a pupil attended had the largest impact on achievement; achievement by private school pupils was significantly higher than public school pupils. Using pupils' academic achievement as a measure, qualified teachers were found to be significantly more effective than unqualified teachers. Teaching experience was found to be statistically significant for primary grade 6 English Language achievement only. The location of schools was also found to be an important determinant of pupils' levels of academic achievem Urban school pupils did significantly better than those from rural schools. Finally, the academic achievement by pupils from schools in deprived districts was significantly lower than those from endowed districts. These findings have implications for the Government of Ghana. They suggest the need for pupils to be enrolled in schools at the expected age while at the same time training more qualified teachers. It also suggested that Continuous Professional Development opportunities be created for the unqualified teachers to upgrade their knowledge and skills. The findings also suggest that any attempts at improving pupils' learning and achievement would require adequate resourcing of rural schools and deprived districts in particular. The successful utilisation of secondary data in this study affirms the importance of this type of data for further studies including testing the applicability of existing theories such as the bio-ecological systems theory and the psychological theory of educational productivity in different contexts.
Supervisor: Robson, Dean ; Mtika, Peter Sponsor: University of Aberdeen
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Academic achievement ; Education, Primary ; Teachers