Early childhood education in India: A possible investment in better outcomes? A quantitative analysis using Young Lives India.
This paper uses data from the Young Lives study. The author's summary reads as follows:
This paper explores the relationship between early childhood education and academic outcomes for children in India by estimating the ability of preschool participation at age 5 to predict results on major cognitive assessments at age 12. Initially looking at differences in means, it moves on to utilise regression analysis first in an uncontrolled model, and then in a model which controls for both gender and maternal eduation, as these have been deemed important inputs for academic attainment in the wider literature on human capital development. The sample used for this research is constructed from Young Lives (India), which from 2002 and 2017 surveyed two cohorts of children across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with a pro-poor sampling strategy. Surprisingly, the results of the analysis find that participation in early childhood education had a negligible effect on test scores, even when controlling for gender and maternal education. Meanwhile, maternal education emerged as a strong predictor of test results. These findings contradict much of the existing evidence that demonstrates associations between early childhood education and cognitive development, and, in turn, improved economic outcomes. Accordingly, it raises questions about the generalisability of the existing evidence and the quality of India's ECE offering.
Parental Aspirations and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India
This paper used data from the Young Lives study. The author's abstract reads:
This study examines the effect of parents’ aspirations on children’s educational outcomes using data from the Young Lives study in Andhra Pradesh in India. It contributes to the sparse literature on this topic by first testing the overall impact of aspirations, and second, by uncovering any non-linearities of this effect. Through the channel of children's aspirationsfor-self, parental aspirations affect future-oriented behaviour and outcomes. This study estimates these impacts by exploring the effect of deviations from the average aspirations within the parents' "aspiration window" (Ray 2006) on the outcome variables at three time periods. The results provide support for the idea of an aspirations gap where both the extent and the direction of the deviation are likely to have differing effects on outcomes. Findings imply that higher aspirations are beneficial for both outcomes, although outcomes are potentially impacted in a non-linear fashion.
‘Functional English’ Skills in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam: Comparing English Ability and Use Among 15 Year Olds in Three Countries
Increased globalisation, interconnectivity and overall exposure have promoted a considerable increase in developing countries in usage and aspiration to learn the English language. Among policymakers and individuals, English is considered important for economic advancement, employment and social mobility. In line with this, Young Lives included a ‘functional English’ assessment as part of its 2016-17 school survey with 15 year olds in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam, providing a unique opportunity to explore English language learning outcomes and some of the factors which affect these.
This working paper explores how functional English can be conceptualised, recognising the multiple ways in which young people in these diverse contexts may want to use English now and in the future. It also draws on analysis of data from the Young Lives school survey to consider the level of functional English competency which children in the three countries currently have, and how this relates to the types of English required by labour markets or higher levels of education. The paper examines the disparities in English levels within the three countries, including some of the background characteristics associated with higher levels of English, and discusses the implications of such gaps on the equality of education and employment opportunities in the future.
Using Scale-Anchoring to Interpret the Young Lives 2016-17 Achievement Scale
An important dimension of the Young Lives school surveys in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam has been the inclusion of assessments in selected cognitive domains. In the 2016-17 secondary school survey, assessments of mathematics and English were administered at the beginning and end of the school year in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam.
This technical note presents the results of two exploratory ‘scale-anchoring’ exercises, which link items to achievement levels to produce performance-level descriptors of what students have demonstrated they know and can do. The note uses mathematics assessment data from the 2016-17 school survey in India before extending the analysis to include Ethiopia, India and Vietnam in a cross-country scale.