This paper inquires ‘outcomes’ in education quality by focusing on issues related to cognitive skill development. Cognitive skills, which include literacy and numeracy, are defined as the “ability to understand complex ideas, adapt effectively to the environment, learn from experience, and reason” (The World Bank, 2017). UNESCO (2005, p.2) mentions the importance of cognitive development as “the major explicit objective of all education systems” and as one of the principles of defining quality in education. The first section of this paper will elaborate on the role of cognitive skills within the purpose and quality of education, followed by a section on teacher quality, and early childhood education since an amalgam of research states both factors having a significant statistical impact on cognitive skill formation (HW, 2015; Cunha& Heckman, 2017; Dahmann, 2015). The paper will conclude by touching issues regarding measurement and research gaps. There are several factors which enhance cognitive skill formation, and the aim of this research is not about assessing importance/relevance weights on specific factors; instead, it is an inquiry on the lack of cognitive skills within education quality.
Educational Quality, Economic Growth, Cognitive Skills