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School Effectiveness in China

An Exploratory Study

Pai Peng

This book is a valuable attempt to address the issue of school effectiveness in mainland China. The author applies multi-level modeling and longitudinal student achievement and survey data to evaluate school effectiveness. In the first study, the author analyzes the effects of school resources and classroom processes on student achievement. He also investigates the size of school effects, and the differential school effects for different groups of students. The other two empirical studies focus on the value-added evaluation of academic performance in schools, including consistency, stability and robustness of value-added results. The author also discusses the policy implications of these empirical findings in the Chinese school system.
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4. School Effectiveness Studies in China: A Literature Review


It is not the author’s target in this chapter to make an in-depth and comprehensive literature review on school effectiveness study. This work has been done by several researchers, such as Scheerens & Bosker (1997), Sammons (1999), Teddlie & Reynolds (2000), Townsend (2007), and Reynolds (2010). I will make a review of available literature on school effectiveness research (SER) conducted in mainland China. So far these studies can be grouped into three strands: (1) introductory review and translations of western literature on school effectiveness; (2) personal thoughts or reflections on school effectiveness; and (3) empirical studies on school effectiveness.

This chapter will focus on the empirical studies conducted in China (all published before the end of 2012). To make the literature review more focused, studies conducted in Hong Kong and Taiwan are beyond the scope of this chapter1. Furthermore, some empirical studies pay attention to schools’ internal effectiveness, rather than external performance indicator: student outcome. For example, a study was conducted to examine the effects of principals’ motivation behaviour on teachers’ self-identity of school organization. I do not refer to this type of study, either.

I will firstly give some reasons why empirical studies on school effectiveness are limited. The literature review will be divided into 3 parts: (1) studies on value added evaluation of school effectiveness; (2) studies on effective factors in promoting student academic achievement and non-cognitive outcomes; and (3) other studies on school effectiveness.

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