Equity effects of Quality Teaching: Closing the gap

Year: 2007

Author: Amosa, Wendy, Ladwig, James, Griffiths, Tom, Gore, Jenny

Type of paper: Refereed paper

One of the central research questions addressed throughout the SIPA research project is an examination of the equity implications of the Quality Teaching model. By analysing each of the three dimensions of Quality Teaching and their combined contributions to students' learning outcomes, we examine the production of achievement differences between two key equity groups, namely, students from low socio-economic backgrounds and students of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

These analyses respond directly to standing equity debates on the relative importance of pedagogical strategies focusing on the different dimensions included in the NSW model for students of traditionally underachieving social groups (Halsey et al., 1997; Karabel & Halsey, 1977; Rowan et al., 2002). This analysis is one of the first attempts to test pedagogical hypotheses of the Bernsteinian tradition, suggesting that differential effects of pedagogy should be expected for students from differing social backgrounds, using large-scale quantitative data.

Guided by these analyses, we challenge popular misconceptions about what matters most for students who are traditionally disadvantaged by schooling and suggest how school reform efforts to close achievement gaps need to be mindful of the differing effects of different dimensions of pedagogy.