Understanding the Social Classroom: The basis of effective pedagogy?

Literacy instruction programs have arguably had limited success because they focus on the technical – but not the social – aspects of literacy instruction. Reform efforts in sub-Saharan Africa have regularly failed to shift pedagogy away from teacher-led whole-class direct instruction to activities that are more effective for learning. In part, the failure is due to a lack of recognition of the social nature of classrooms where teacher-child interactions are conditioned by cultural predispositions. New research from Tanzania identified such challenges to pedagogical reform and points to potential solutions. One approach focuses on the child - to develop their social and emotional competencies. Teachers in Mtwara, Tanzania - but not parents – think that confidence and curiosity are important for student learning and report that interactive teaching activities are less effective in rural areas where students lack these competencies. Evidence suggests that building students’ confidence to participate in class is achievable relatively quickly. A second approach is to adapt teaching activities. Teachers in Tanzania report reluctance to implement teaching activities that undermine the social goals of instruction, such as avoiding embarrassment and promoting a sense of fairness and togetherness in the classroom. Instruction would be more effective if activities are co-designed with teachers to achieve both the social goals and the cognitive/learning goals of teaching.

Instructional Strategies for Mathematics in the Early Grades

This document is intended for program and curriculum experts interested in implementing evidence-based early grade mathematics programs. It was developed by the authors of this document, who are mathematics teaching and learning experts with extensive experience adapting evidence-based practices in low and middle-income contexts. Our collective field and research experience, combined with the existing evidence base, led us to focus on four instructional strategies that are key to effective mathematics instruction: 1. Respecting developmental progressions 2. Using mathematical models to represent abstract notions 3. Encouraging children to explain and justify their thinking 4. Making explicit connections for children between formal and informal math While these four instructional strategies are very important, they are not the only instructional strategies that can result in improved learning outcomes. Effective early grade mathematics teachers draw from an extensive repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies and strive to create a learning environment the supports that development of positive mathematical identities.

Gender patterns in mathematics achievement in the early years: Results from Tayari Kenya [CIES 2019 Presentation]

Dr. Benjamin Piper and Dr. Yasmin Sitabkhan presented findings at CIES 2019 on gender and math in the preschool years from the Kenya Tayari program.

ACR-Asia Early Childhood Landscape Report [CIES 2019 Presentation]

CIES presentation of Early Childhood Education landscape report for the Asia region under All Children Reading - Asia.

Early Childhood Education: Considerations for Programming Overview

The purpose of this brief is to answer the question: What are the considerations for effective ECE programming in the Asia region? To answer, we focus on the quality and sustainability, including governance and financing, of ECE. The four subject briefs provide evidence and present considerations for the following topics: ECE assessments, including measures of child learning and assessments of the quality of learning environments; Approaches to quality teaching and learning, focusing on emergent literacy and early mathematics, with consideration given to the language of instruction; Ensuring early childhood educator quality; and Sustainability of ECE.

Early Childhood Education: Considerations for Programming in Early Learning Assessment

Assessment of learning and the quality of early learning environments is an important component of early childhood education. This brief outlines the existing early learning assessments of children and environments used in the Asia region, excluding diagnostic and screening assessments.

Early Childhood Education: Considerations for Programming in Approaches to Teaching and Learning

The quality of instruction in the classroom is key to children's learning and development. This brief looks at the dimensions of guided play, emergent literacy, emergent mathematics, and language of instruction on the quality of instruction.

Early Childhood Education: Considerations for Programming in Educator Quality

Training opportunities and appropriate teacher curriculum are often insufficient, and effective regulatory frameworks for preparing, staffing, and monitoring ECE teachers are often lacking. This brief presents selected country-by-country findings on policy relating to ECE teacher quality in six countries in Asia.

Early Childhood Education: Considerations for Programming in Sustainability

Governance and financing of early childhood education (ECE) are complex, involving multiple actors, levels, objectives, and approaches, from general expansion of education access to targeted coverage of the most underserved. Coordination of actors and local community engagement in ECE are important dimensions in the governance and sustainability of ECE, above and beyond specific financing sources and arrangements. More than policies or systems alone, the quality and nature of governance is directly linked to a program’s chances for sustainability.

Early Childhood Education: Considerations for Programming in Asia

This report examines available evidence from the Asia region on the current state of ECE interventions, focusing on the 10 countries in the region3 that currently benefit from US Agency for International Development (USAID) education programming. In Asia, many national governments have prioritized the expansion of access and quality improvements of pre-primary education (Sun, Rao, & Pearson, 2015). USAID will support those efforts as part of a coherent approach to improved learning outcomes in primary school.

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