Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



When evaluating the institutional effects of education on increasing human capital and addressing inequality, researchers have focused largely on mainstream schooling, which includes primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools on the public and private sectors. Nevertheless, generated by the growing student population and heightened competition in education, academic-oriented supplementary education or tutoring, also known as “shadow education” (e.g. Stevenson & Baker, 1992; Bray, 1999; Baker & LeTendre, 2005), is expanding worldwide, so much so that it is rapidly becoming an institutionalized part of schooling in a number of countries (Baker & LeTendre, 2005). The metaphor of the shadow is used because much of the curriculum in the parallel supplementary sector mimics that in regular schooling (Bray, 2017). With its global rise and prevalence, supplementary education becomes central to discussions about how countries can improve their national levels of student achievement (National Research Council, 1999) and brings about far-reaching implications for types of (in)equalities (Bray, 2017). Informed by multi-disciplinary theoretical frameworks, this dissertation research aims to provide strong empirical evidence on the development and functionality of supplementary education, to understand its consequential impact on educational (in)equality, and to improve its conceptualization in diverse national and cultural settings. Utilizing the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 datasets, the set of studies examines the multi-level determinants of participating out-of-school math classes, evaluates the effectiveness of supplementary math education on middle schoolers’ academic achievement and study behaviors, as well as investigates the structural relationships among family background, teacher quality, supplementary learning, and academic achievement.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Carol Rowhea C. Yeakey Elmesky

Committee Members

Ebony Duncan-Shippy, Shenyang Guo, Ezekiel Dixon-Roman, Mark Hogrebe,


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