The Impacts of Transition to Middle School on Student Cognitive, Non-Cognitive and Perceptual Developments: Evidence from China

46 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2017 Last revised: 3 Oct 2020

See all articles by Kathryn H. Anderson

Kathryn H. Anderson

Vanderbilt University; CASE; University of Central Asia

Xue Gong

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences

Kai Hong

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD); New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Xi Zhang

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

Middle school is an important period of development for students. Middle schools in China are either separate schools after grade six or incorporated in the same school complex with the elementary school. Students who attend separate elementary and middle schools change schools more often than other students, and this additional school change can affect academic and non-academic developments. We examine the effect of the transition to a separate middle school after grade six on student cognitive, non-cognitive, and perceptual developments in China. We use an approach that combines the propensity score method and discrete factor approximation to address the endogeneity of the transition to a separate middle school. We find that transitioning students who move from elementary school to middle school after grade six are more likely to develop bad learning habits than non-transitioning students who do not change schools. Transitioning students, however, receive more attention from teachers. The lower performance of transitioning students on the first exam in middle school only partly explains these observed transitional effects on student developments.

Keywords: China, Economics of Education, Grade Configuration, Cognition, Non-Cognitive Development

JEL Classification: I21, I28, H52

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kathryn H. and Gong, Xue and Hong, Kai and Zhang, Xi, The Impacts of Transition to Middle School on Student Cognitive, Non-Cognitive and Perceptual Developments: Evidence from China (October 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2924889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2924889

Kathryn H. Anderson

Vanderbilt University ( email )

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Xue Gong

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences ( email )

Kai Hong (Contact Author)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) ( email )

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New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

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Xi Zhang

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences ( email )

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