In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), literature about factors influencing the relationship between attendance and gender gaps in educational achievement is sparse. Yet, in a recent article in Social Sciences & Humanities Open, STS’s Anne Laesecke and Fernanda Gándara are adding new research to the canon.
Using moderated mediation analysis based on monitoring and evaluation data, Laesecke and Gandara’s study provides a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that sustain girls’ attendance and achievement rates in DRC primary schools. Results show that female teachers who engage in inclusive classroom practices are associated with improved attendance. Additionally, the time teachers spend demonstrating content also relates to pre-existing, gender-based achievement gaps favoring boys.
These results highlight the importance of teacher practices and the role that gender-sensitive pedagogy plays in minimizing gendered achievement gaps. As Laeseck and Gandara’s discuss, the findings of the study have direct implications for teacher practice—”teachers who actively create spaces for female participation improve girls’ attendance and, potentially, performance.”
On a different level, this study shows how large-scale quantitative analyses based on monitoring and evaluation data can shed light on gender dynamics in schools. As a facet of education often understudied, particularly in low-income contexts, the ability to gather learnings from this type of study is promising.
To read the full article, please visit Social Sciences & Humanities Open.
More information about STS’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is available through these projects: