Teachers in the South African education system : an economic perspective

Armstrong, Paula Louise (2015-04)

Thesis PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Chapter 1 investigates teacher wages in the South African labour market, in order to ascertain whether teaching is a financially attractive profession, and whether high ability individuals are likely to be attracted to the teaching force. Making use of labour force survey data for the years 2000 to 2007 and for 2010, wage returns to educational attainment and experience are measured for teachers, non-teachers and non-teaching professionals. The returns to higher levels of education for teachers are significantly lower than for non-teachers and non-teaching professionals. Similarly, the age-wage profile for teachers is significantly flatter than it is for non-teachers, indicating that there is little wage incentive to remain in teaching beyond roughly 12 years. The profession is therefore unlikely to attract high ability individuals who are able to collect attractive remuneration elsewhere in the labour market. Chapter 2 deals with explicit teacher incentives in education. It provides a technical analysis of Holstrom and Milgrom’s (1991) multitasking model and Kandel and Lazear’s (1992) model of peer pressure as an incentivising force, highlighting aspects of these models that are necessary to ensure that incentive systems operate successfully. The chapter provides an overview of incentive systems internationally, discussing elements of various systems that may be useful in a South African setting. The prospects for the introduction of incentives in South Africa are discussed, with the conclusion that the systems in place at the moment are not conducive to introducing teacher incentives. There are however models in Chile and Brazil, for example, that may work effectively in a South African setting, given their explicit handling of inequality within the education system. Chapter 3 makes use of hierarchical linear modelling to investigate which teacher characteristics impact significantly on student performance. Using data from the SACMEQ III study of 2007, an interesting and potentially important finding is that younger teachers are better able to improve the mean mathematics performance of their students. Furthermore, younger teachers themselves perform better on subject tests than do their older counterparts. Changes in teacher education in the late 1990s and early 2000s may explain the differences in the performance of younger teachers relative to their older counterparts. However, further investigation is required to fully understand these differences.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In Hoofstuk 1 word die lone van onderwysers in die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmark ondersoek om vas te stel of onderwys ʼn finansieel aantreklike beroep is en hoe waarskynlik dit is dat mense met sterk vermoëns na die onderwys gelok sal word. Met gebruik van arbeidsmagopnamedata van 2000 tot 2007 en van 2010 word die loonopbrengs op jare onderwys en ervaring vir onderwysers, nie-onderwysers en beroepslui buite die onderwys gemeet. Die opbrengste vir hoër vlakke van opvoeding is beduidend laer vir onderwysers as vir nie-onderwysers en nie-onderwys beroepslui. Netso is die ouderdom-loonprofiel van onderwysers beduidend platter as vir nie-onderwysers, wat dui op weinig looninsentief om langer as ongeveer 12 jaar in die onderwysveld te bly. Dit is dus onwaarskynlik dat hierdie beroep baie bekwame mense sal lok wat elders in die arbeidsmark goed sou kon verdien. In Hoofstuk 2 word na eksplisiete insentiewe in die onderwys gekyk. Die hoofstuk verskaf ʼn tegniese analise van die multi-taak-model van Holstrom en Milgrom (1991) en van Kandel en Lazear (1992) se model van portuur-druk as aansporingskrag, met klem op die aspekte van hierdie modelle wat in Suid-Afrikaanse omstandighede van nut mag wees. Vooruitsigte vir die instelling van insentiewe in Suid-Afrika word bespreek, met die slotsom dat die stelsels wat tans in plek is nie bevorderlik vir die instelling van onderwysersinsentiewe is nie. Daar is egter modelle in byvoorbeeld Chili en Brasilië wat effektief in Suid-Afrikaanse omstandighede sou kon funksioneer, gegewe hulle eksplisiete klem op ongelykheid binne die onderwys. In Hoofstuk 3 word hiërargiese liniêre programmering gebruik om te ondersoek watter eienskappe van onderwysers ʼn belangrike invloed op studenteprestasie uitoefen. Met gebruik van data van die SACMEQ III studie van 2007 is ʼn interessante bevinding dat jonger onderwysers beter in staat is om die gemiddelde wiskunde prestasie van hulle student te verbeter. Verder vertoon sulke jonger onderwysers self ook beter in die vaktoetse in Wiskunde en taal as hulle ouer kollegas. Veranderings in onderwysopleiding in die laat negentigerjare en vroeë jare van hierdie eeu kan dalk die verskille in die vertonings van jonger onderwysers relatief tot hulle ouer eweknieë verklaar. Verdere ondersoek is egter nodig om hierdie verskille beter te verstaan.

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