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Policy and Research Issues: Cognitive Growth and its Correlates

Policy Questions:

  1. What are the correlates of cognitive growth over time?

    (a) Student Issues

    • What are the trajectories of cognitive growth over time for different groups of students?
    • How do course taking patterns relate to different rates of cognitive growth?
    • At what levels of proficiency do students score in reading and mathematics?
    • Which background factors are associated with higher achievement?
    • What is the role of student involvement/academic and extracurricular engagement in predicting cognitive growth?
    • What is the influence of language proficiency and use on tested achievement?
    • What is the influence of students’ attitudes and expectations on cognitive growth?

    (b) Parental/Family Issues

    • Which background factors and family variables are associated with higher achievement?
    • What is the role of parental involvement in student achievement and other outcomes?

    (c) School and Teacher Issues

    • How is teacher quality related to achievement gains over time?
    • How are school-level characteristics related to cognitive growth?
    • How well are high schools preparing students for higher education and the world of work?

  2. What school and teacher factors are associated with different levels of cognitive growth?