M4U3A3 Reflecting on High Expectations in Costa Rica

Introduction: Educational Expectations of the Costa Rican Society

In 1869, under the presidential mandate of Dr. Jesús Jiménez Zamora, Costa Rica became the first Latin American nation to establish free and compulsory education[1].  This was and still is an initiative to celebrate – every year Costa Rica celebrates Teacher’s Day on November 22nd and Costa Rican Educator Fellowship Day on November 23rd.  Today Costa Rica is one of the Latin American countries that spends the most on education per student[2].  In 2015 the Ministry of Public Education [el Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP)] spent a total of CRC 2.19 trillion [USD $4.03 billion] – the most that has ever been spent on education in the history of Costa Rica.  60% of that money goes to salaries with 95% of that being for teachers and 5% for administration[3].  Looking at this another way, 30% of the budget goes to pre-school and primary school and 21% to secondary.  Almost 8% of the budget will be invested in equity programs[4].  This works out to an average spending of CRC 1.7 million [approximately USD $3,130] per year, per pupil for the education of school-aged children (including adolescents)[5], excluding spending for tertiary education.

With such a sterling record of educational commitment, one would expect Costa Rica to rank among the highest nations in student achievement.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Costa Rica ranked 55 out of 65 countries tested in the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012.  In other words, Costa Rica is in the bottom 15% of student achievement by country.  The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) assesses the knowledge of fifteen-year-old pupils and what they can do with that knowledge.  Average school truancy in Costa Rica is 57% (though even higher in socioeconomically disadvantaged households) and only 46% of youth graduate from Costa Rican high schools[6].  This essay briefly explores how such eventualities came about and what can be done about them to properly reflect the esteem the Costa Rican people have toward high achievement in education.

 

The Case of the Disadvantaged Costa Rican Household

According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012, over 90% of Costa Rican pupils feel happy at school and 98% believe that achievement is the result of hard work, rather than exclusively natural intelligence.  Assuming those surveyed answered truthfully, then this is encouraging feedback for educators.  The tasks of transforming the entire atmosphere of schools and changing student beliefs about what it is possible for them to achieve would have been gargantuan indeed – but thankfully, this is not necessary.  Nevertheless, we note that in 2013 24% of pupils who abandoned their studies say they did so because they felt dissatisfied with the education[7]In other words, the students like school, and believe they can succeed with enough hard work.  Nevertheless, a quarter of those who leave the system dislike the education they are getting.  Local studies found that another third [31%] of the students who abandon compulsory education say they do so because of poverty; a quarter [26%] of which say they have to walk a long distance to get to the study centers (as schools are called in Costa Rica)[8].  However, regardless of the long walk to the study centers, 93% of pupils in Costa Rica complete primary education[9].  The veracity of these student responses and trends is further reinforced by the PISA Report 2012 whose results reflected much the same for Costa Rica and other countries.  This suggests that the issue often is not really about getting to school but rather with attending school and mostly only when it comes to attending secondary school.  The Ministry of Public Education [el Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP)] budget figure for 2015 shows an allocation of CRC 27 billion [USD $51.92 million] toward educational transportation.  This, combined with the high truancy figure mentioned above both tend to support this supposition that students can get to school just fine but for some reason do not want to do so[10].

So what is preventing students from attending school and how can we change that?  The answer lies in the fact that Costa Rican society is not really homogeneous.  We noted above that school truancy in Costa Rica is higher in socioeconomically disadvantaged households.  Many of these households are located in rural areas.  Research has found that the culture of education and most importantly the expectations about education in these families is quite different from those of an urban Costa Rican family.  Despite a rigorous free school lunch program[11], the country does not have effective strategies against exclusion (also reflected in the Pisa Report 2012).  (Two of the most serious weaknesses is the slow progress in universal secondary education and the gap between the quality of education in rural versus urban zones, (with rural education generally being of lower quality)[12].)  Unfortunately, the answer to why rural students drop-out of school cannot be easily obtained by asking socioeconomically disadvantaged students and parents.  When asked what needs to be done for them to complete secondary school or to aim to go to college, parents and students give the same ‘canned response’ of “hard work and commitment is what is needed for anyone to make it and achieve academic success”.  Nevertheless, despite a lot of effort on students’ and parents’ parts this does not seem to become the reality for most of them.  Why is that?  Are they not working hard enough, not engaged enough or is it something else?

According to the UNESCO report on the Participation of Families in Early Education in Latin America (2004): engagement at school increases by 20 points if the child is open to problem-solving, and positive self-beliefs about math capacity increase their performance by 19 points.  So, how does a child become open to problem-solving?  There is a suspicion that the divide between students who are open to problem-solving versus those who are not may be linked to whether or not they attended pre-school.  Pre-school socializes children basically from the cradle onwards and inculcates in them the norms of school life.  It helps to foster in children an expectation of academic learning being an acceptable and attainable pursuit in life.  But Costa Rica has already established and heavily funds free pre-school nationwide with further subsidies and additional benefits for pre-schools in rural areas[13].  Nevertheless, data shows that, even when socioeconomically disadvantaged students attend pre-school, there is still a lag in their achievement and they are still more likely to abandon formal education after primary school, though to a lesser extent.  Why is that?  What could the Costa Rican educational system be doing wrong or not doing enough of?

President Dr. Jesús Jiménez Zamora, dubbed (with great respect and gratitude) ‘the Father of Education’, said that “Parents are the primary educators of their children” and that “the best nation will be the one which has more and better schools.”  As wonderful and idealistic as these statements were, I dare to say they were actually incomplete.  The facts have shown that simply building more and better schools and providing free education are not sufficient to eliminate truancy and achieve a fully educated populace.  Expectations and culture must also change[14].  An important part of this change in culture and expectations involves the role of the teacher.

 

The Role of the Teacher in Setting High Expectations

Extensive research has shown that effective teachers actively portray belief in their students’ capacity to learn and excel[15].  This can be done by communicating clear instructions and providing learning goals, followed by acknowledging and rewarding what students know, while pushing them to think critically and achieve a superior level of performance (i.e. scaffolding their learning).  Demanding excellence is not just about not accepting sub-par work from students – the teacher must show students how they can attain mastery of a subject.  The teacher’s job is to use effective strategies to teach but also to teach learning strategies to the students so that they can take charge of their own learning.  For example, according to common sense and numerous studies and observations, the more time one spends thinking about and manipulating a subject or topic, the more one learns about the topic or subject and the more one is likely to retain that information in long-term memory.  This is the basic theory supporting project-based learning and experiential learning (‘hands on’ learning).  Additionally, the learning pyramid[16] shows that increased domination of a subject is attained through engaging in various activities that are incrementally more challenging (viz. 1. Attending a lecture, 2. Reading, 3. Audiovisual stimulus, 4. Demonstrating to another, 5. Discussion, 6. Practicing doing it, 7. Teaching others).  From this we can observe that traditional lecture-style teaching is actually the least effective for the learner and that mastery is achieved through teaching others.  Teachers can share this kind of information with students and engage them in activities that convert the student into the teacher of a particular topic for the benefit of that student and the rest of the class.  In other words: Gone are the days when the teacher was considered the font of all knowledge.  PISA 2012 found that “students can only achieve at the highest levels when they believe that they are in control of their success and that they are capable of achieving at high levels”[17].  This goal of high achievement is furthered when students see themselves doing well and being capable (for example when they teach something to another student).

If students will actually be assuming more responsibility (with adequate support) in their learning process, then it is also key that the teacher demonstrate enthusiasm for learning because this helps motivate students.  Children often unconsciously emulate adults and this is no different in the classroom.  For example, the most boring topic can be made enjoyable by approaching it with a positive attitude.  This kind of modelling (by the teacher), if copied by students, will also serve the children well as a strategy to use in other areas of their life and far beyond their school years: the right attitude makes all the difference!

 

Academic Expectations of Various Stakeholders: Schools, Teachers, Parents and Students

The data collected from various reports and quoted above shows that regardless of high academic expectations of the government, schools and teachers, the most important party is the student, who must also have high expectations for themselves.  The student’s views are most strongly influenced by their parents.  If parents cannot envision an educated future for their child and do not hold that up as the goal to be attained, it is very difficult for teachers and schools to change this vision in the child’s mind regardless of how much time a teacher allocates to helping that child or how much money is poured into the educational and social systems[18]This disparity in expectations or vision between that of the educational system and that of the parents and children is pivotal.  It may be the reason why students in Costa Rica whose parents are uneducated or whose parents only have primary education tend to be those who abandon formal academic education at the end of primary school.  These parents and children very nobly put all the blame on themselves saying that they only needed to push their children harder or that their children needed to work harder to make a brighter future into their personal reality.  However, in truth, it may be that the students and parents do not really feel like they belong in the academic and professional world.[19]  If this is true, it is an impression that Costa Rican society must try hard to change to properly reflect the immense tolerance and warmth of the society.

 

Comparison of Costa Rica with Other Countries of Similar Size

Sixty-five countries participated in the 2012 PISA testing of their students.  Shanghai-China received the top scores of 613 for mathematics and 570 for reading.  Peru received the bottom scores of 368 for mathematics and 384 for reading.  Costa Rica obtained a mean PISA mathematics score of 407 and a mean PISA reading score of 441.

With an area of 51,100 km2 and a population estimated at approximately 5 million in 2016 (Wikipedia), Costa Rica is considered one of the smaller countries in the world.  If we choose to examine the statistics and 2012 PISA scores of three countries which are of similar size to Costa Rica we find the following:

  • Croatia: area 56,595 km2; population just over 4 million; PISA mean score for math 471 / reading 485
  • Serbia: area 88,360 km2; population about 7 million; PISA mean score for math 449 / reading 446
  • Czech Republic: area 78,886 km2; population 10.6 million; PISA mean score for math 499 / reading 493

All of these countries scored higher on the PISA mean score than Costa Rica.  Furthermore, most of these countries are war-torn and could be considered developing countries as is Costa Rica.  The Global Economy .com ranks all countries according to their geopolitical stability.  A lower ranking represents a more stable country and a higher ranking represents a less stable country.  With the exception of the Czech Republic (ranked at 32), in 2014 Cost Rica (ranked at 59) was rated more politically stable than both of the comparison countries quoted above[20].  Therefore, if we rule out the Czech Republic and compare Costa Rica with only Croatia (ranked at 63 in geopolitical stability) and Serbia (geopolitical stability of 84) we start to wonder why Costa Rica is not performing better in PISA.  Add to that the fact that in 1949 President José Figueres Ferrer abolished Costa Rica’s army and funneled this money into education, it becomes baffling indeed to try to figure out why Costa Rica’s educational performance is so poor.

As a cultural cross-reference, here are the statistics for two Latin American countries:

  • Mexico: area 1,972,550 km2; population 120 million; PISA mean score for math 413 / reading 424; geopolitical stability ranking 150
  • Chile: area 756,096 km2; population 18 million; PISA mean score for math 423 / reading 441; geopolitical stability ranking 66

Chile and Mexico both scored higher than Costa Rica on PISA 2012, with Chile earning the highest score of all Latin American countries.  Yet, Costa Rica is one of the highest spenders per capita on education in Latin America.  How can this be?

 

Conclusion

The only way to make sense of and reconcile the PISA test results with the real esteem Costa Ricans appear to have for education is to take into account the conclusions drawn by the PISA 2012 Report and reports published by various Costa Rican higher education institutions precisely on this topic (e.g. Education Exclusion and Dropping out in Public Schools of Costa Rica by Jiménez Asenjo and Gaete Astica in 2013).  PISA not only tests students; it gathers a plethora of relevant data about those students and compiles and compares this data to come up with well-thought out and viable solutions and recommendations.  Such reports show a marked relationship between expectations in socioeconomically disadvantaged households and the underachievement of children from those households.  In disadvantaged households, pupils and parents hold low expectations of educational and professional achievement for their children or themselves (as the case may be).  It seems parents may be unconsciously transmitting their low expectations to their children and foiling these innocent youths’ chances of success and future material ease.  If educators want to see real improvement in the academic performance of socioeconomically disadvantaged students, it is imperative that this culture and vision be replaced with true belief in oneself and in one’s capacity by both the student and their parents.  Such is the power of expectations that all the money in the world might be insufficient to change the outcome if students’ and parents’ personal expectations are not also transformed.  In other words, parental participation, involvement and ‘buy in’ are essential.

 

Recommendations

Now that the data has been analyzed, it is time for action.  I believe that workshops on self-esteem and the belief in one’s potential could be beneficial to rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.  The onus cannot all be on the teachers.  Teachers can certainly set the precedent and spearhead efforts, but in truth, the whole community needs to recognize the root cause of lack of achievement and decide to change their thinking and beliefs.

Fundamental recommendations revealed by these reports are: (i) less vertical teaching practice; (ii) a more participative and interventionist approach to education; (iii) improved psychological responsiveness to students; (iv) implementation of a protocol for psychological responsiveness and monitoring and for institutional tracking of students; (v) training teachers to better understand the internal conflict of ideals experienced by marginalized children and populations, including training on strategies to help motivate students; and (vi) improved institutional action and provision of family support in ways that matter to these marginalized populations.

 

Sources

Alfaro Elizondo, Sharely.  (Apr 28, 2015).  Costa Rica: The Highest Educational Spending in Latin America – CRC 1.7 million per student per year.  [Costa Rica: inversión en educación más alta de América Latina, ₡1.7 millones por estudiante al año.]  Presidencia de la República de Costa Rica.  San José, Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://presidencia.go.cr/prensa/comunicados/costa-rica-inversion-en-educacion-mas-alta-de-america-latina-%e2%82%a11-7-millones-por-estudiante-al-ano/ and http://www.mep.go.cr/noticias/inversion-nacional-estudiante-matriculado-entre-mas-altas-latinoamerica?page=2

Bass, Jossey.  (2010).  Chapter 1: Setting High Academic Expectations.  In Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion.  (pp.  27 – 56).  San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Cabezas, Yazlin.  (Nov 17, 2015).  The Year is Not Yet Done and the Number of Abandoned Children Has Shot Through the Roof.  [No acaba el año y la cifra de niños abandonados se dispara.]  CRHoy.com  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://www.crhoy.com/no-acaba-el-ano-y-la-cifra-de-ninos-abandonados-se-dispara/

Carranza Villalobos, Adán.  (Dec, 2011).  High School Students’ Perceptions about the State of their Advancement and Repeating in School.  [Percepción de Estudiantes de Secundaria Sobre Su Condición de Adelantamiento y Repitencia Escolar.]  Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Vicerrectoría Académica, Escuela Ciencias de la Educación.  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://repositorio.uned.ac.cr/reuned/bitstream/120809/933/1/Percepci%C3%B3n%20de%20Estudiantes%20de%20secundaria%20sobre%20su%20condici%C3%B3n%20de.pdf

Cole, Robert W.  (2008).  Educating Everybody’s Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners.  (Revised and expanded 2nd Ed.).  Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.  Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107003/chapters/Educating-Everybody’s-Children@-We-Know-What-Works%E2%80%94And-What-Doesn’t.aspx

Education Trust, The.  (May, 2013).  Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Achievement for Low-Income Students and Students of Color.  Shattering Expectations Series.  Washington, D.C., U.S.A.  Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED543218.pdf

Edutopia.  (Dec 6, 2011).  How to Engage Underperforming Students.  Cochrane Collegiate Academy.  North Carolina, U.S.A.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0H5XsZ1gzA

Edutopia.  (Dec 9, 2009).  High Expectations: Students Learn to Rise to the Occasion.  Faubion Elementary School.  Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=derUjqnlEzs

Global Economy, The.  (2014).  Political Stability – Country Rankings.  The Global Economy.  Georgia, U.S.A.  Retrieved from http://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/wb_political_stability/

Gómez Reina, Gilberth.  (Feb 9, 2015).  Parents Have the First Responsibility in the Education of our Young Children and Adolescents.  [Padres de familia, primeros responsables en la educación de nuestra niñez y adolescencia.]  El Diario.  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://www.diarioextra.com/Anterior/detalle/252413/padres-de-familia,-primeros-responsables-en-la-educacion-de-nuestra-ninez-y-adolescencia

Howard, Gary R.  (Mar, 2007).  As Diversity Grows, So Must We.  Educational Leadership.  Section on: Responding to Changing Demographics.  Vol. 64, (No. 6), (pp. 16 – 22).  Alexandra, Virginia, U.S.A.  Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar07/vol64/num06/As-Diversity-Grows,-So-Must-We.aspx

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).  (2013).  TIMSS and PIRLS 2011: Relationships Among Reading, Mathematics, and Science Achievement at the Fourth Grade — Implications for Early Learning.  In Michael O. Martin and Ina V.S. Mullis (Eds.), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).  TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center.  Lynch School of Education, Boston College.  Boston, U.S.A.

Jiménez Asenjo, Wendy & Gaete Astica, Marcelo.  (Jan – Apr, 2013).  Education Exclusion and Dropping out in Public Schools of Costa Rica.  [Estudio de la exclusión educativa y abandono en la enseñanza secundaria en algunas instituciones públicas de Costa Rica.]  Revista Electrónica Educare.  Vol. 17, (No. 1).  Heredia, Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://www.scielo.sa.cr/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1409-42582013000100007

Jiménez, Ronulfo.  (Aug, 2014).  Public Education in Costa Rica: Politics, Results and Spending.  [Educación pública en Costa Rica: políticas, resultados y gasto.]  Análisis.  Série 6.  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://www.academiaca.or.cr/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Analisis-Ronulfo-6-2014C.pdf

Lim, Chap Sam.  (2007).  Characteristics of Mathematics Teaching in Shanghai, China: Through the Lens of a Malaysian.  University of Science, Malaysia.  Mathematics Education Research Journal.  Vol. 19, (No. 1), (pp. 77 – 89).  Malaysia.  Retrieved from http://www.merga.net.au/documents/MERJ_19_1_Lim.pdf

Marzano, Robert J.  (2007).  The Art and Science of Teaching.  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  Virginia, U.S.A.

McLendon, Kelly.  (Apr 26, 2011).  Helping Low-Achieving Students Succeed.  Funderstanding: Inspiring People Who Care About Learning.  Retrieved from http://www.funderstanding.com/curriculum/helping-low-achieving-students-succeed/

Mena, Fabio.  (Feb 03, 2015).  Parents Need to Become Involved in the Educational Process so that their Children Have a Successful Reading Year.  [Padres de familia deben involucrarse en proceso de educación para que hijos tengan un año lectivo exitoso.]  CRHoy.com  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://www.crhoy.com/padres-de-familia-deben-involucrarse-en-proceso-de-educacion-para-que-hijos-tengan-un-ano-lectivo-exitoso/

Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP).  Ley de Presupuesto MEP 2015.  [Budget Law 2015.]  Documento 1.1.1.1.210.000  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from http://www.mep.go.cr/transparencia-institucional

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).  http://www.oecd.org/pisa

Rosenthal, Robert & Jacobson, Lenore.  (1968).  Pygmalion in the Classroom.  Holt, Rinehart & Winston, lnc.  Retrieved from https://www.uni-muenster.de/imperia/md/content/psyifp/aeechterhoff/sommersemester2012/schluesselstudiendersozialpsychologiea/rosenthal_jacobson_pygmalionclassroom_urbrev1968.pdf

Terra.  (Sep 10, 2013).  Costa Rican Education has Problems with Quality that are Weighing Down its Advance and Expansion.  [Educación costarricense tiene problemas de calidad pese a avance en cobertura.]  Terra.  Costa Rica.  Retrieved from  http://noticias.terra.com/america-latina/costa-rica/educacion-costarricense-tiene-problemas-de-calidad-pese-a-avance-en-cobertura,7f0f08246f701410VgnCLD2000000dc6eb0aRCRD.html

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  (Aug, 2004).  Participation of Families in Early Education in Latin America.  [Participacion de las familias en la educacion infantil latinoamericana.]  Investigated by Ofelia Reveco, Edited by Rosa Blanco.  Oficina Regional de Educacion para America Latina y el Caribe.  [Regional Office of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean.]  Santiago, Chile.  Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001390/139030s.pdf

Wei, Kan.  (Mar 25, 2014).  Explainer: What Makes Chinese Maths Lessons so Good?  The Conversation.  Melbourne, Australia.  Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-makes-chinese-maths-lessons-so-good-24380

 

End Notes

[1] Source: Terra.  (2013, September 10).  Costa Rican Education has Problems with Quality that are Weighing Down its Advance and Expansion.

[2] Source: Alfaro Elizondo, Sharely.  (2015, April 28).  Costa Rica: The Highest Educational Spending in Latin America – CRC 1.7 million per student per year.  Presidencia de la República de Costa Rica.

[3] Note also that teacher salaries are at the 50th percentile in terms of salaries in Costa Rica.  Source: Alfaro Elizondo, Sharely.  (2015, April 28).  Costa Rica: The Highest Educational Spending in Latin America – CRC 1.7 million per student per year.  Presidencia de la República de Costa Rica.

[4] Source: Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP).  Ley de Presupuesto MEP 2015.  Documento 1.1.1.1.210.000.

[5] The MEP spends about CRC 1.3 million [approximately USD $2,395] per year, per pre-school child on education; CRC 1.5 million [approximately USD $2,765] per year, per pupil at primary level; and CRC 2 million [approximately USD $3,685] per year, per pupil at secondary level.  Source: Alfaro Elizondo, Sharely.  (2015, April 28).  Costa Rica: The Highest Educational Spending in Latin America – CRC 1.7 million per student per year.  Presidencia de la República de Costa Rica.

[6] Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[7] Source: Terra.  (2013, September 10).  Costa Rican Education has Problems with Quality that are Weighing Down its Advance and Expansion.

[8] Source: Terra.  (2013, September 10).  Costa Rican Education has Problems with Quality that are Weighing Down its Advance and Expansion.

[9] Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[10] 114,000 students and 661 educational centers will benefit from this infusion of funds in transportation in 2015.  Source: Alfaro Elizondo, Sharely.  (2015, April 28).  Costa Rica: The Highest Educational Spending in Latin America – CRC 1.7 million per student per year.  Presidencia de la República de Costa Rica.

[11] Student Meals and Nutrition Program [el Programa de Alimentación y Nutrición Escolar] comprised CRC 53 billion [USD $101.34 million], which 962 thousand students benefitted from in 2015 and in 2014, 686 thousand students were subscribed.  Source: Alfaro Elizondo, Sharely.  (2015, April 28).  Costa Rica: The Highest Educational Spending in Latin America – CRC 1.7 million per student per year.  Presidencia de la República de Costa Rica.

[12] Source: Terra.  (2013, September 10).  Costa Rican Education has Problems with Quality that are Weighing Down its Advance and Expansion.

[13] Source: Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP).  Ley de Presupuesto MEP 2015.  Documento 1.1.1.1.210.000. and Source: Jiménez, Ronulfo.  (August 2014).  Public Education in Costa Rica: Politics, Results and Spending.  [Educación pública en Costa Rica: políticas, resultados y gasto.]  Análisis.  Agosto 2014.  Serie 6.  Retrieved from http://www.academiaca.or.cr/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Analisis-Ronulfo-6-2014C.pdf

[14] p. 17.  “Across most countries and economies, socio-economically disadvantaged students not only score lower in mathematics, they also reported lower levels of engagement, drive, motivation and self-beliefs.  Resilient students, disadvantaged students who achieve at high levels, break this link; in fact, they share many of the characteristics of advantaged high-achievers.”  Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[15] Source: Marzano, Robert J.  (2007).  The Art and Science of Teaching.  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  Virginia, U.S.A.

[16] Source: National Training Laboratories.  Bethel, Maine.

[17] Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  pp. 21.  Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[18] p. 18.  “Students whose parents have high expectations for them – who expect them to earn a university degree and work in a professional or managerial capacity later on – tend to have more perseverance, greater intrinsic motivation to learn mathematics, and more confidence in their own ability to solve mathematics problems than students of similar socio-economic status and academic performance, but whose parents hold less ambitious expectations for them.”  Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[19] Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2012).  PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know.  p. 18. Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

[20] The Global Economy.  (2014).  Political Stability – Country Rankings.  Retrieved from http://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/wb_political_stability/

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