Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2016 Issue »

    Grade Repetition and Primary School Dropout in Uganda

    SARAH KABAY
    Research on education in low-income countries rarely focuses on grade repetition. When addressed, repetition is typically presented along with early school dropout as the “wasting” of educational resources. Simplifying grade repetition in this way often fails to recognize significant methodological concerns and also overlooks the unique insight that can be gained by focusing on repetition. In this article, Sarah Kabay uses mixed methods research to investigate repetition and its association with later school dropout in Ugandan primary schools. In a representative sample of pupils from 136 schools, Kabay finds that in spite of a policy of automatic promotion meant to limit repetition, 88 percent of pupils had repeated a grade and 11 percent had repeated three or more times. Kabay identifies age as a confounding variable for the association between repetition and dropout, and argues that attention should be drawn to the age of entry into schooling and language policy.
    Sarah Kabay is a PhD candidate in international education at New York University Steinhardt, where she is a fellow in the Institute for Education Sciences Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program and a research affiliate with the Global TIES for Children Research Center. Her current research projects focus on Uganda’s Universal Primary Education policy and how it relates to the costs associated with attending school, the expansion of low-fee private primary schools, and grade repetition. She is also working on a qualitative analysis of parents’ attitudes toward preschool in peri-urban Accra, a cost-benefit analysis of Boston’s public pre-K program, and a psychometric analysis of an early childhood assessment tool. Before beginning her doctoral program, Kabay lived in Uganda for five years, working with Innovations for Poverty Action. 
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    Winter 2016 Issue

    Abstracts

    Brown Bodies and Xenophobic Bullying in US Schools
    Critical Analysis and Strategies for Action
    MONISHA BAJAJ, AMEENA GHAFFAR-KUCHER, AND KARISHMA DESAI
    The Origins of Classroom Deliberation
    Education in the Shadow of Totalitarianism, 1938–1960
    THOMAS D. FALLACE
    Hip-Hop Citizens
    Arts-Based, Culturally Sustaining Civic Engagement Pedagogy
    PAUL J. KUTTNER
    Teaching Mathematics for Spatial Justice
    Beyond a Victory Narrative
    LAURIE H. RUBEL,MAREN HALL-WIECKERT, AND VIVIAN Y. LIM
    Grade Repetition and Primary School Dropout in Uganda
    SARAH KABAY

    Book Notes

    Data Literacy for Educators
    Ellen B. Mandinach and Edith S. Gummer

    Transforming the Academy
    Edited by Sarah Willie-LeBreton