News and Research 325

I call this newsletter News and Research, though it focuses on education. It can be described as:

Education news refers to recent developments, events, and updates in the field of education, both at the national and international level. It may include information on educational policies, new programs and initiatives, funding, advancements in technology, and more.

Education research refers to the systematic investigation of educational questions and issues through scientific methods, with the goal of expanding our understanding of educational processes and outcomes. Research in education can encompass a wide range of topics, including pedagogy, teacher training, student learning and development, and the impact of education on society.

Accurate? Perhaps. But I didn’t write that. ChatGPT did when I asked it what education news and research is. ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models and is fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques.

What will ChatGPT mean for education systems? There are concerns about fraud in education research and examinations.  There are worries the misinformation will flourish.  But some countries are embracing it.

Here are just a few examples:

Will ChatGPT Destroy Education or Resuscitate It?

ChatGPT: The End of Online Exam Integrity?

ChatGPT Goes to Law School

3 ways Singapore is trialling AI in education

What are the effects of school closures on economic outcomes in adulthood?

Temporary school closures have a lasting effect on literacy and income in adulthood. Those affected by the closures have lower economic mobility, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. The school closures lowered occupational income scores by around 5 percent for those affected.

Sounds like the impact of COVID-19 induced school closures? But it’s not. We don’t know the long term effect yet.

But Winfree (2023) suggests the impacts will be impactful and long-lasting. In a new paper, he brings together new hand-collected school administrative data from 1870s Virginia along with linked individual United States Census records. He analyzes the school closures that occurred in response to an unanticipated veto of a funding bill by the state governor that had the effect of reducing state funding per student population by 60 percent for the 1878-79 school year. He shows that school closures had lasting effects on education and income. He also finds higher illiteracy rates in adulthood for those who grew up in a county that closed schools. The age at which the closures occurred also played a role with younger cohorts more affected by early developmental disruptions and older cohorts more affected by prolonged closures. This is path-breaking research. Most of the previous pandemic-related school closures studied were relatively short-lived. For example, the average length of school closures in 171 cities was 36 days for the 1918-19 pandemic. Winfree’s results have implications following the prolonged school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In many rich countries, students with adequate resources were able to continue with remote instruction or by transferring to a new school. Students in emerging economies did not experience the same opportunities. The findings are consistent with the idea that the closures could widen economic inequality between countries and between advantaged and disadvantaged students within the same country.

Other news and research

The Education Exchange: “Severe” Learning Losses from Pandemic, Data from 42 Countries Show

“We have validated the importance of schooling by taking it away, oddly enough”

Ukraine’s empty classrooms |More than half of the children in the country have been displaced by the conflict with Russia. This photo essay highlights how the war has disrupted students’ education

Capturing the Educational and Economic Impacts of School Closures in Poland | Annenberg Institute at Brown University EdWorkingPaper | The effect of school closures in the spring of 2020 on the math, science, and reading skills of secondary school students in Poland is estimated. The COVID-19-induced school closures lasted 26 weeks in Poland, one of Europe’s longest periods of shutdown. Comparison of the learning outcomes with pre- and post-COVID-19 samples shows that the learning loss was equal to more than one year of study. Assuming a 45-year working life of the total affected population, the economic loss in future student earnings may amount to 7.2 percent of Poland’s gross domestic product.

Why investing in the early years of children’s lives is critical in Kosovo | Era, a little girl from Pristina, starts her morning in a rush. Her parents prepare breakfast and pack her bag for kindergarten. Era is one of the lucky children in Kosovo. Most have no opportunity to attend kindergarten or develop early skills that are foundational for their future. Era’s peers born today will only be 57% as productive when they reach adulthood as they could be if they received full health and quality education services early in their lives. The literature shows that early childhood development (ECD) is critical for human capital  formation. Investing in the early years is the smartest investment a country can make to create human capital that promotes economic growth.

Designing effective public-private partnerships in education | Now available in Español Français العربية | To be effective, public-private partnerships (PPPs) in education, need to be innovative, hold schools accountable, empower parents and students, and promote diverse educational institutions. A clear legal and regulatory framework is crucial to achieving a sustainable solution. Best practice would include rigorous impact evaluation to find out what works, how and for whom. Mentioned in BM: Diseñar alianzas público-privadas eficaces en el sector … Para que las alianzas público-privadas (APP) en el ámbito educativo (i) sean eficaces, deben ser innovadoras, …

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