Best Paper Award 2020

Pontus Bäckström’s paper “The Mechanisms of Peer-Effects in Education: A Frame-factor Analysis of Instruction” investigates how peer effects in education arises. Even though there has been an extensive research into peer effects in education, less research has focused on the modus operandi behind them.

The paper departs from a hypothesis that the Frame Factor Theory (FFT) can be used to reveal some of the mechanisms creating peer effects. According to the FFT, the class composition, measured as pupil’s prerequisite knowledge and aptitude, will steer and limit what the teacher can do in instruction for the class, thereby generating peer effects on individual students’ outcome. This also implies that teachers’ instruction to some degree is dependent of class composition.

To test these hypotheses, and the predictions derived from the FFT, a multilevel structural equation model (SEM) was applied to Swedish TIMSS 2015-data (N = 3761). As predicted, the SEM-model verified a strong relation between class composition and limiting effects on instruction, which in turn had a great impact on individual students’ results in TIMSS 2015. The study reported in the article hereby revealed a fundamental mechanism of peer effects and provided evidence for the FFT.

Pontus said of his Best Paper experience: "For me it has been a great experience to participate in the Best paper award since it offers a somewhat different format and procedure in the peer-review process and communication that you have with journals. For an emerging researcher as myself this has been an important and educative process to take part in."

  • Pontus Bäckström is a PHD candidate at the School of Education and Communication at Jönköping University, Sweden. His research interests include compositional effects, peer effects and teachers’ instructional practices in classroom teaching.

Emerging Researchers' Group Link Convenor, Saneeya Qureshi, commented:

"The formative review process of the Annual EERA Best Paper Award is instrumental in enabling EERA's emerging researchers to broaden their scholarly influence, and I am delighted that Pontus Bäckström's excellent quantitative paper was selected as winner of the Best Paper Award following the double-blind peer review process. The paper sheds light on the important issue of the relation between peer group effects, instruction in classrooms and educational attainment using Frame Factor Theory. We wish Pontus all the best with his publication endeavours and completion of his PhD." 

First-hand Insights

Learn what Sofia Eleftheriadou, winner of the Best Paper Award 2019, found useful about the Emerging Researcher's Conference and the Best Paper Award on the EERA Blog.

Best Paper Award 2020

Submission deadline 19 Sep 2020
Formative feedback given 5 Nov 2020
Re-Submission deadline 15 Dec 2020
Winner announced Feb 2021

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