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  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Birmingham]On: 12 November 2014, At: 06:26Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK

    School Effectiveness and SchoolImprovement: An InternationalJournal of Research, Policy andPracticePublication details, including instructions for authorsand subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/nses20

    School and Instruction Effectson Mathematics AchievementRoel J. Bosker a , Ed J.J. Kremers b & Els Lugthart ca Department of Education , University of Twenteb Cito , National Institute for EducationalMeasurementc RION , Institute for Educational ResearchPublished online: 03 Aug 2006.

    To cite this article: Roel J. Bosker , Ed J.J. Kremers & Els Lugthart (1990) School andInstruction Effects on Mathematics Achievement, School Effectiveness and SchoolImprovement: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, 1:4, 233-248,DOI: 10.1080/0924345900010401

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0924345900010401

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    http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • School Effectiveness and School Improvement 0924-3453/90/0104-0233S3.001990, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 233-248 Swets & Zeitlinger

    School and Instruction Effects on MathematicsAchievement

    Roel J. BoskerDepartment of Education, University of Twente

    Ed J.J. KremersCito, National Institute for Educational Measurement

    Els LugthartRION, Institute for Educational ResearchUniversity of Groningen

    ABSTRACT

    Much research into school effectiveness fails to distinguish between pupil and class-room or teacher effects on the one hand, and 'real' school effects on the other. MoreoverDutch research into effective secondary schools is primarily concerned with pupilattainment whereas most Anglo-Saxon literature on this topic deals with pupil cogni-tive achievement. In this article an attempt is made to contribute to these topics byusing a large scale Dutch data set on pupil achievement in secondary education. Aftera short descriptive paragraph on pupil achievement in Dutch secondary education, amultilevel instructional and school effects model of pupil achievement is developedand tested. The results show that it is hard to distinguish instructional and teachereffects from school effects and that there are complicated cross-level interaction effectson achievement. For some pupils, instructional factors are more important than forothers; some instructional features only play a significant role in specifically organizedschools.

    This article is based on a paper presented to the Third International Congress for SchoolEffectiveness in Jerusalem in January 1990. The research reported in this article wascarried out under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Science.

    Correspondence: Dr R.J. Bosker, University of Twente, Department of Education, Divi-sion of Educational Administration, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, the Netherlands.E-mail address: TOBOSKER@HENUT5.

    Manuscript submitted: August 14, 1990Accepted for publication: October 12,1990

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  • 234 ROELJ.BOSKERETAL.

    INTRODUCTION

    In this article we report the findings of a research project into effective schoolscarried out in secondary education in the Netherlands.

    This research was part of more extensive research that had been carried outwithin the framework of innovation plans for Dutch secondary education. Recentlythe Dutch government proposed a common core curriculum in the lower years ofsecondary education. At the moment this consists of separate types of schools,varying from junior vocational to secondary grammar (for more details see Fig-ure 1). The main objectives of the core curriculum are to increase the cognitivelevel of pupils in general and that of disadvantaged pupils in particular (Ministryof Education and Science, 1987; WRR, 1987).

    This extensive research was essentially a baseline study. In a national sampleof 650 secondary schools, the Dutch National Institute for Educational Measurement(Cito) and the Institute for Educational Research of the University of Groningen(RION) assessed characteristics of school, curriculum and classroom organizationand the cognitive and social performance of pupils. The results of the baselinestudy will be compared with the performance of pupils after the introduction of.the core curriculum in the near future (Peschar, 1988). The main aim of assessinginstructional and organizational characteristics also is to gain more insight intothe possible educational effects of the core curriculum on the school and itsteachers. Failure or success of the innovation can then be explained by theseintervening variables, or success might be demonstrated under certain organiza-tional and instructional conditions (Lugthart et al., 1989; Peschar, 1988).

    Inequality of educational opportunity in secondary education is a predominanttopic in Dutch educational sociological research. But most studies in this areadeal with educational and occupational attainment (cf. Bakker, Dronkers & Meijnen,1989), and do not pay attention to pupil cognitive achievement. Through thisbaseline study an explicit relation with pupil achievement can be established.

    We begin this article with a short explanation of the design of the baselinestudy and of the main results. After that we will elaborate on our research intoeffective schools. In relation to this, we will discuss the following four questions:1. Do schools differ in the cognitive achievement of their pupils?2. Do schools differ in the relations between educational level of the parents, sex,

    ethnicity and cognitive achievement?3. Can these differences be explained by characteristics of effective instruction

    and effective schools, like 'opportunity to learn', 'direct instruction' and'press to achieve'?

    4. How far are these relations contingent on factors like 'school type', 'schoolsize' and 'school organization'?

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  • SCHOOL AND INSTRUCTION EFFECTS ON MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT 235

    DESIGN OF BASELINE STUDY

    InstrumentsTests for cognitive achievementTests for the subjects of Biology, English, Dutch (the mother tongue) and Math-ematics were taken. The tests referred to those subject areas that could be testedwith pen and paper and they were composed of both open and multiple choicequestions. The test duration was 100 minutes (two timetable hours). The test wasthe same for pupils of the various school types and they therefore containedquestions of varying degrees of difficulty. The tests contained sub-tests withquestions that fitted in with the present curriculum as well as questions thatbelonged to the proposed core curriculum. In this new core curriculum practicalapplication will have more emphasis.

    Tests for non-cognitive skillsInformation was collected from pupils about their attitudes towards school andabout their social skills. In this article we do not refer to these skills (see Boskeret al., 1990 for this information).

    Background information on pupilsThe following data were recorded: sex, age, length of stay in secondary education(i.e. repeating a class), level of education reached by parents, and ethnicity.

    Questionnaire for school managementThis questionnaire for the principal deals with aspects of school organization,such as the transition period and schoolcareer of pupils, innovation activities,pupil counselling and certain aspects of school culture (e.g. rules on homework,acceptance of truancy, pupil assessment provision).

    Questionnaire for teachersTeachers of classes that participated were requested to provide information abouttheir teaching method. They were also asked to comment on the content of thetests in relation to their own tea

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