Teacher-student-parent feedback and academic performance
A discussion paper from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics reports on a randomized controlled trial to improve teacher-student-parent feedback in rural area of central China with a large proportion of left-behind children (children who have both parents working in cities, and are living away from home).
W. Stanley Siebert and colleagues collected data from over 4,000 elementary school children (grades 3 and 5) over two school terms, which included academic scores from standardized tests. One class from each grade in each school was randomly chosen to be in the feedback group. In these classes, all students received bi-weekly feedback from their teachers on their schoolwork and behavior. Additionally, one-third of students in these classes were randomly selected to also have their bi-weekly feedback sent to their parents.
Their results suggest that feedback does have a positive effect on raising math and language scores for both left-behind and non-left behind children. In math, there was an effect size of +0.16 standard deviations in grade 3 and +0.20 standard deviations in grade 5. For language the effect size was +0.09 standard deviations for grade 3 and +0.20 standard deviations for grade 5. When feedback was communicated to parents the achievement gains were larger for younger left-behind children than for non-left behind children. For left-behind children in grade 3, there was an additional +0.30 standard deviations improvement in math.
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