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Inside Teacher Training:
What Works to Make It Better?
David K. Evans (Senior Economist, World Bank) – based on work with ...
Why in-service
teacher training
is a promising
intervention
What the broader evidence on
learning tells us
Motivation
 Recent years have seen an explosion in evidence on
learning
 Six reviews over last two years on the same top...
One area of consensus was in-service teacher training:
It can be effective!
Individualized, repeated
• Provide local contr...
But…
It certainly isn’t always effective
• Intervention to improve active learning
pedagogy in Costa Rica’s secondary scho...
So can we
predict kinds of
teacher training
work? Source: World Bank Flickr feed
What do we learn from high-income country
evaluations?
Meta-analysis of 196 randomized field experiments on student test s...
What comes from other reviews of rich-country
evidence?
What works?
• Practicality: Concrete and classroom based
(Walter &...
What about middle-income and other countries?
We searched 11 meta-databases for studies of teacher training with
student l...
We described each program by its key characteristics.
Overarching
Who
implemented
?
Professional
implications?
Based on a
...
What do successful programs look like?
Practicality
• Programs that provided textbooks, flash
cards, word banks, and other...
What do successful programs look like?
Specificity
• Programs without a specific subject focus
of training were ineffectiv...
What do successful programs look like?
Continuity
• There is a positive association between
programs with follow-up visits...
What do successful programs look like?
Accountability
• We found that programs where
participation has implications for
pr...
What about pre-service training?
The same principles are likely to apply:
• Practicality: In Cuba, with high learning outc...
Teacher training takeaways
• Teacher training can make a crucial
difference.
• But it doesn’t happen automatically.
• Reme...
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Inside Teacher Training: What Works to Make It Better?

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I prepared this talk on how to improve the quality of in-service teacher training -- with a light treatment of pre-service training -- last week for a conference with the Ministry of Education in Brazil.

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Inside Teacher Training: What Works to Make It Better?

  1. 1. Inside Teacher Training: What Works to Make It Better? David K. Evans (Senior Economist, World Bank) – based on work with Anna Popova and Violeta Arancibia November 18, 2016
  2. 2. Why in-service teacher training is a promising intervention What the broader evidence on learning tells us
  3. 3. Motivation  Recent years have seen an explosion in evidence on learning  Six reviews over last two years on the same topic: How to improve learning outcomes for students in low and middle income countries  We reviewed this work to see where consensus lies 0 50 100 150 200 250 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Cumulative learning studies 227 total studies 32 total studies 3
  4. 4. One area of consensus was in-service teacher training: It can be effective! Individualized, repeated • Provide local contract teachers with two weeks of initial training but reinforcement throughout the year in India (Banerjee et al. 2007) • Train teachers and provide them with regular mentoring to implement early grade reading instruction in local language in Uganda (Lucas et al. 2014) Associated with a specific task • Combine student reading groups with in- school supervisors to provide ongoing guidance to group leaders in Chile (Cabezas et al. 2012) • Help teachers learn to use storybooks and flash cards in India (He et al. 2009) Evans&Popova2016 Source: World Bank Flickr feedSource: World Bank Flickr feed
  5. 5. But… It certainly isn’t always effective • Intervention to improve active learning pedagogy in Costa Rica’s secondary schools (Berlinski & Busso 2015) • Program students actually did worse! • Teachers went through the motions • Three-month English training program for teachers in China (Zhang et al. 2013) • No impact on teacher or student English scores • Many other examples…maybe most! Lots of resources are expended on it • 91% of teachers participated in professional development in the last 12 months • Survey of 38 countries (Strizek et al. 2014) • Major component of national budgets • $2.5 billion per year in USA (Layton 2015) • $34 million per year in Mexico (Calderón 2014) • At the World Bank • 171 World Bank projects between 2000 and 2012 had education components • 63% had professional development to support teachers
  6. 6. So can we predict kinds of teacher training work? Source: World Bank Flickr feed
  7. 7. What do we learn from high-income country evaluations? Meta-analysis of 196 randomized field experiments on student test scores Intervention RE estimate High dosage tutoring 0.309 No excuse charters 0.153 Charters 0.110 Data driven 0.057 Managed professional development 0.052 (2) Teacher certification 0.030 Student incentives 0.024 Teacher incentives 0.022 Low dosage tutoring 0.015 General professional development 0.019 (7) • General professional development = General skills • Self-executing (books, DVDs, handbook) • OR hands-on, but general • Managed professional development = Specific methods • Precise training in specific curricular materials • Success for All: Every child to 3rd on time with basic skills • Reading Recovery: Individualized remedial reading Source: Fryer (2016)
  8. 8. What comes from other reviews of rich-country evidence? What works? • Practicality: Concrete and classroom based (Walter & Briggs 2012) • Specificity: The marriage of pedagogy and content • Continuity: • Significant contact hours (Yoon et al. 2007) • Ongoing mentoring for all beginner teachers, with reduced teaching time for both beginners and mentors (Darling- Hammond et al. 2010) • NOT one-time workshops (Wei et al. 2009) Source: https://educationprogram.duke.edu/
  9. 9. What about middle-income and other countries? We searched 11 meta-databases for studies of teacher training with student learning outcomes. Identification Screening Eligibility Included 4,294 records identified through search of databases All records screened 42 full texts assessed for eligibility 23 studies (26 programs) included
  10. 10. We described each program by its key characteristics. Overarching Who implemented ? Professional implications? Based on a diagnostic? Content Focus? (Content, pedagogy) Subject area? Delivery Core activities? Cascade? Proportion in lecture? Practice? Perceptions What did teachers like? What do you think mattered? And the impact that it had on student test scores. With only 26 programs under analysis, treat these results as suggestive.
  11. 11. What do successful programs look like? Practicality • Programs that provided textbooks, flash cards, word banks, and other learning materials were associated with larger student learning gains. • These programs provided concrete tools and how to use them, not general principles. • Trainers reported that programs worked best when they linked to the everyday experiences of teachers. Source: World Bank Flickr feed
  12. 12. What do successful programs look like? Specificity • Programs without a specific subject focus of training were ineffective. • Some successful programs focused on pedagogy, some on content. • But they had a specific subject focus: What pedagogy is best for teaching math? How to use technology to teach language? Source: World Bank Flickr feed
  13. 13. What do successful programs look like? Continuity • There is a positive association between programs with follow-up visits in school and student test scores. • Trainers most commonly reported mentoring follow-up visits as a key factor for success. • Teachers cannot automatically make the jump from something they learned at a training and classroom implementation. They need follow-up. Source: World Bank Flickr feed
  14. 14. What do successful programs look like? Accountability • We found that programs where participation has implications for promotion or salary have significantly higher learning outcomes. • Teachers need to be invested. Source: World Bank Flickr feed
  15. 15. What about pre-service training? The same principles are likely to apply: • Practicality: In Cuba, with high learning outcomes, teachers spend a lot of time practicing • Specificity: Latin American pre-service education is “failing to provide sufficient content mastery and student-centered pedagogy” (Bruns & Luque 2015) • But remember, it’s tough for young, new teachers entering the school to change the culture, so pre- service alone cannot be the answer. Compulsory pre-service teaching practice in Latin American & Caribbean countries Source: Bruns & Luque (2015) and Franco (2012)
  16. 16. Teacher training takeaways • Teacher training can make a crucial difference. • But it doesn’t happen automatically. • Remember key principles • Practicality • Specificity • Continuity • Accountability • Test, test, and test again Source: World Bank Flickr feed

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