How Teacher Social Networks Might be Leveraged to Enhance Diffusion and Implementation of New Pedagogies

The conventional ways that new pedagogies are taught and supported in low- and middle-income countries rarely leverage the social networks and relationships that are paramount for individuals to shift their beliefs and make positive decisions about adopting new methodologies, and for them to sustain these behavior changes in the long run. The purpose of this study was to apply social network analysis (SNA) and qualitative inquiry to understand the composition and structure of primary school teacher social networks to inform policy basic education programming about how to improve the diffusion and support for implementation of new pedagogies through these social networks. This study used a mixed model design to study the compositional and structural properties of teacher social networks in sub-district administrative areas or “wards” in Tanzania. Using data from completed socio-metric inventories, separate teacher social networks were generated for Mbawala, Madimba, Milangominne, and Nitekela wards in the Mtwara Region of Tanzania. Researchers used SNA to calculate quantitative measurements and generate teacher sociograms (i.e., network graphs) for each of the ward-level teacher social networks. We combined these data with data from teacher informant interviews that described the content, context, and benefit of educators’ interactions in the different wards and to help explain the SNA findings.

Additional Analysis for Self-Administered EGRA (Ghana, English)

This report summarizes the findings of additional analyses conducted to delve deeper and develop more insight into the piloting of the Self-Administered Early Grade Reading Assessment (SA-EGRA) and the Self-Administered Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (SA-EGMA). These tools were developed and tested by RTI International with the support and direction of Imagine Worldwide. Children complete these assessments independently on tablet-based software while in a classroom with their peers. An adult supervises the process.

Report of Self-Administered EGRA/EGMA Pilot (Ghana, English)

This report summarizes the findings of an effort to develop and validate tablet-based, self-administered assessments of English-language foundational literacy and numeracy in the early grades. The tools described in the report were developed at the request of Imagine Worldwide with the support of the Jacobs Foundation. RTI carried out field testing and a pilot study to assess the tools' internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity with respect to "traditional" EGRA and EGMA. RTI International developed the two assessments, known respectively as the Self-Administered Early Grade Reading Assessment (SA-EGRA) and the Self-Administered Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (SA-EGMA), with the support and at the direction of Imagine Worldwide. The assessments are deemed “self-administered,” because children complete the assessments independently in response to instructions and stimuli imbedded in the tablet-based software. However, adults typically supervise the organization and conduct of the assessment as well as the collection of individual data from the tablets for analysis. The tools have been developed under an open-source license. The code can be viewed and downloaded for reuse or modification at Users of RTI's Tangerine software may request that the SA-EGRA and SA-EGMA tools be added to their Tangerine groups via

Early Grade Reading Assessment 2018, Chichewa National Results for Standards 1 and 3

This report presents key findings of the 2018 national assessment of early grade reading skills in Chichewa, a core language for reading and language development in Malawi. This early grade reading assessment (EGRA) for Standards 1 and 3 was conducted in June 2018 in a nationally representative sample of 86 Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) primary schools. The 1,720 tested students—860 Standard 1 and 860 Standard 3 learners, half boys and half girls in each standard from each school—were randomly selected during visits to each school. The results are nationally representative of Standard 1 and 3 learners of MoEST primary schools in Malawi.

Global Learning XPRIZE Data Summary

This presentation was delivered to a team of researchers who participated in a "Data Deep Dive" convened by the XPRIZE Foundation after the announcement of the Global Learning XPRIZE award.

Cambodia, Student Performance in Early Literacy: Baseline Report

This report presents the results of a baseline assessment of upper preschool and grade 1 student performance in pre-literacy and early grade reading. The assessment included samples drawn from three provinces in Cambodia: Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, and Battambang (control). The results will serve as a baseline for comparing the impact of early grade reading interventions being implemented in Kampong Thom and Siem Reap. The data reveal lower than expected levels of oral language ability among students in upper pre-school, especially given that Khmer is the mother tongue for nearly all students in the areas covered. For example, students responded correctly to only 3 out of 5 questions concerning a short passage that had been read to them. And in terms of their pre-literacy skills, when shown the letters they were supposed to learn in upper pre-school, students identified them with only 28% accuracy. Performance of grade 1 students on early literacy skills was also much lower than should be expected for the period during which the test was administered. For example, grade 1 students who were almost three-quarters of the way through the school year could only correctly identify letters 34% of the time and were identifying fewer than 10 letters per minute. When simpler forms of consonants and vowels were tested separately, grade 1 students performed better, but still correctly identified letters with less than 50% accuracy. Reading of familiar words in isolation or reading of a short grade-level passage were essentially non-existent.

Is ‘summer’ reading loss universal? Using ongoing literacy assessment in Malawi to estimate the loss from grade-transition breaks

Published abstract: "Summer learning loss – decreased academic performance following an extended school break, typically during the period after one grade ends and before another grade starts – is a well-documented phenomenon in North America, but poorly described in sub-Saharan African contexts. In this article, we use the term ‘grade-transition break’ loss in lieu of ‘summer’ loss to refer to the period after one grade ends and before another grade starts. This study analyses data from early grade reading assessments in Malawi, estimating statistically significant average reductions of 0.38 standard deviations (SD) across several measures of reading and pre-reading skills during two grade-transition breaks. The data show the loss in reading skills during the extended breaks between grades 1 and 2 and between grades 2 and 3 in two consecutive years. The study found no gender-based differences in loss. The findings suggest a need for early grade reading interventions to develop and evaluate mitigation strategies lest significant proportions of within-year performance gains be lost over the break between academic years."

Measures of quality through classroom observation for the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons from low-and-middle-income countries

Background paper prepared for the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable futures for all With the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global education agencies are grappling with how quality can and should be measured for global reporting purposes. Several factors at the education system, school, and classroom levels shape education quality, including the limited information available at the global level about what is happening in the classroom. Such information can only come through observation-based measures that record teacher practices, either through routine monitoring conducted by system actors or through surveys. Classroom observation is used extensively in not only teacher education and professional development, but also in evaluation studies. However, there are fewer cases where classroom observations are used for system monitoring purposes—particularly in low- and middle- income countries. This paper reviews what has been learned from observation instruments in low- and middle-income countries and what opportunities (i.e., scope) there are to systematize these countries to that they can monitor quality at both the school and system levels.

Independent Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Institut pour l’Education Populaire’s “Read-Learn-Lead” (RLL) Program in Mali

The Institute for People’s Education (Institut pour l’Éducation Populaire, or IEP) designed the Read-Learn-Lead (RLL) program to demonstrate that the new official curriculum, if properly implemented and supported, can be a viable and effective approach to primary education, using mother tongue and a very specific pedagogical delivery approach. The RLL program sought also to demonstrate how the new Curriculum can be effectively implemented and supported, and what resources are needed to do so. RLL offers students and teachers carefully structured and systematic lessons, activities, and accompanying materials for instruction and practice on critical early reading skills in mother-tongue medium during the first years of elementary school. It is organized around three programmatic “results sets,” the first of which focuses on Grades 1 and 2 and is the subject of the present evaluation. This independent evaluation study, funded through a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and carried out by RTI, explored the effectiveness of the RLL program’s Results Set 1 as applied over three school years (2009-2010 to 2011-2012) in the Bamanankan language and in other Malian national languages (Bomu and Fulfulde in all three years, and Songhai in 2009 and 2010).

CIES 2017 Presentation: Measurement of early reading under the SDGs

Measurement of learning is central to the Sustainable Development Goals for education, both in early primary (grade 2/3) and in early childhood (under the age of 5) (IAEG 2016). Of particular concern is the ability of global measurement approaches to reflect the social and linguistic differences of a diverse range of societies, including traditionally marginalized groups. This presentation relies on literacy assessment data to answer the following question: can results from non-equated national assessments be used to report against global goals?