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Shanghai maths: elaboration theory vs traditional sequencing in the teaching of fractions

Over the past decade, international comparisons of education have assumed an increasingly important role in domestic policymaking. The big international surveys – principally PISA and TIMSS – have come to dominate thinking, not least through league tables that rank countries based on their pupils’ performances.

‘An RCT evaluation of the Numeracy and Literacy project’

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are a growing phenomenon in education research. And the debate now appears to have moved beyond the question of whether or not such trials are desirable to one about whether or not it is possible to run robust trials in practice.

‘Does Management Matter in Schools?’

Differences in the quality of education are large, both within and between countries. A recently published study by Nicholas Bloom, Renata Lemos, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen (free working paper version here) suggests that those differences can partly be explained by management quality.

‘Can personality traits and intelligence compensate for background disadvantage?

‘Character education’ is one of the current hot topics in the education policy world. Personality characteristics such as resilience, conscientiousness, and sociability are thought to have an impact on educational attainment and career success.

The effects of mobile phone use in the classroom

Over the last decades, technology has frequently promised to transform education, but with little actual success in raising pupil performance. Governments have invested in, for example, laptops, tablets, and interactive whiteboards, with disappointing results.

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