Theses Doctoral

Student-centered instruction and math and science achievement in the post-Soviet state: a mixed methods analysis

Omoeva, Carina

This dissertation examines the relationship between the use of student-centered instructional methods in teaching mathematics and science, and achievement of fourth graders in these subjects. The context for analyzing this relationship is the post-Soviet region, with Kazakhstan selected as the main focus of the study, and the object of its in-depth qualitative case analysis. The measures of student-centered instructional methods are drawn from student surveys administered as part of the 2007 TIMSS study, while the TIMSS test scores serve as measures of student achievement. The quantitative analysis finds that student-centered instructional methods generally show no statistically significant relationship with student achievement across all country datasets included in this analysis. The qualitative case study follows up on these results in the context of Kazakhstan, and finds that while student-centered instruction is hailed as the pathway to reform of education in this post-Soviet country, the state lacks the capacity to engage in instructional reform and improvement of teacher quality, while the teachers look to the state to guide them in choosing the right instructional methods. As a result, instructional transformations take place in highly haphazard, heterogeneous ways, while teachers require direction, guidance, and support from the central state to effectively implement student-centered methods in their lessons.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Comparative and International Education
Thesis Advisors
Steiner-Khamsi, Gita
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 31, 2012