Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

 

An image of a classroom in Africa.

Keep Adolescent Girls Safe in Africa, Both In and Out of School

Violence in and around schools is a serious problem. Sexual violence, physical violence, and emotional violence—from school staff as well as from fellow students—are all damaging to children and youth. As secondary education expands around the globe, violence against adolescent girls in school merits special attention. But growing attention to school-based violence doesn’t mean that girls are safe outside of school. In fact, the relationship between violence and education is complicated.

A teach in rural Nepal points to letters as she teaches her class how to read the English alphabet.

How to Make Sure Every Child Gets Access to a Teacher

Just about every school district in the world has schools that it struggles to staff. Many teachers don’t want to work in remote schools, or they don’t want to work in urban schools with high concentrations of poverty. Teachers play an obvious, crucial role in the education process, so how can systems get teachers—especially effective teachers—into disadvantaged schools? In our new paper—“How to Recruit Teachers for Hard-to-Staff Schools: A Systematic Review of Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries”—we explore just that.

An image of a map where large-scale interventions to improve girls’ education have been implemented

Girls’ Education: Going from What Works to What Works at Scale

Girls’ education remains a high priority for international organizations and for governments and non-government organizations in low- and middle-income countries, as it should be! There are many countries in the world where girls lag behind boys in either access or performance, and gender discrimination in the labor market may nudge policymakers to boost girls’ education even after parity in educational access has been achieved, in order to get closer to gender equality in later life outcomes.

World Teachers’ Day: The Professional Development That Actually Makes a Difference

What distinguishes a good teacher professional development program from a bad one? We dug through dozens of studies of teacher PD programs to try and figure this out. Then we compared the characteristics of good PD programs to the characteristics of large-scale PD programs implemented by many countries. We document our findings in our recently published paper, “Teacher Professional Development around the World: The Gap between Evidence and Practice.” Here are three things we learned.

A graphic with words related to learning and education.

32 New Findings from the Global Education RISE Conference 2021: Parents, Politics, and the Pandemic—Plus the Education Interventions People Would Trash

Last week was the annual conference for the Research on Improving Systems of Education (or RISE) program, a large scale, multi-country research program developed to answer the question: “How can education systems be reformed to deliver better learning for all?” You can read the full conference program and you can watch videos of all the sessions. But here, I’ve broken down the key findings and takeaways from each presentation

An image of an African mother helping her daughter with school.

How Do Early Child Development Interventions Affect Mothers? In Most Cases, We Don’t Know.

Lots of children in low- and middle-income countries do not receive the nutrition or stimulation in early childhood that will help them thrive later in life. In recent years, many countries (along with their international partners) have increased investments in programs seeking to meet that need: parent training classes, increased access to daycare and preschool programs, nutrition supplementation, cash support, and more.

Slide laying out features of teacher PFP programs, from who and what gets rewarded to the structure of rewards.

Teacher Pay for Performance: Does It Really Work?

We were asked: were teacher pay for performance schemes, where teachers are rewarded for better performance, the way to go? So, we embarked on a comprehensive review of the literature on teacher PFP in low and middle-income countries to help answer the big question—does it really work? Our team’s conditional “perhaps, but possibly not” answer was not very inspiring.

 Figure. Potential pathways from foundational literacy and numeracy to life outcomes

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Skills Are Important, Obviously. But Are They More Important than All Other Education Investments?

It’s rare to read an education report these days that doesn’t mention the learning crisis. That’s not surprising. Literacy and numeracy skills among children are dismally low: less than half of all children in low- and middle-income countries can read by the time they are 10 years old. As these data have emerged in recent years, the global education community has swung its focus sharply toward learning.

Graphic laying out four principles for the use of edtech to help teachers

How to Use Technology to Help Teachers be Better and to Make Life Better for Teachers

In a recent note I look for examples of how education technology—rather than seeking to circumvent teachers—can help teachers to be as effective as possible and make their jobs and lives easier in the process. Looking at a wide range of experiences, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, I identify and discuss four principles to guide investments in technology to boost teacher effectiveness.

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