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Tempo Social

Print version ISSN 0103-2070On-line version ISSN 1809-4554


PAUL, Jean-Jacques  and  BARBOSA, Maria Ligia de Oliveira. The quality of teachers as a factor in school efficiency. Tempo soc. [online]. 2008, vol.20, n.1, pp.119-133. ISSN 0103-2070.

This paper examines the spatial distribution of teachers across the primary school system as a trait of educational policies in Latin America. These policies are generally justified in terms of their impact on the development of equality of opportunities and their emphasis on justice, efficiency and equity. We discuss this question using data from a survey undertaken in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico: in 96 schools located in poor districts of Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Guanajuato, we interviewed 96 teachers and principals, tested 2,048 fourth grade students and surveyed their parents. Recent economic and sociological studies have shown that some of the professional characteristics of teachers, especially their experience, can improve the achievements of poor students. But our data suggest that the distribution of teachers across the school system tends to reduce the equality of educational opportunities for these students by denying them the more experienced teachers.

Keywords : Teachers; Teaching practices; Educational policies; Equality of opportunities; School quality.

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