Towards the Development of An Assessment of Employability Skills

As the world faces higher and higher unemployment rates among its youth, there is increasing interest in evaluating whether schools are adequately preparing their youth to enter the workforce. Do early school leavers (those leaving by Grade 9) possess the “foundational” and “employability” skills needed to effectively enter the workforce? Assessment instruments for literacy and mathematics appropriate to the end of the primary cycle do exist. However these tend to be in depth, large scale, regional or national assessments and not the rapid assessments that EGRA/EGMA are. In addition, these tools only measure some foundational skills, such as reading and math. Previous investigation on employability skills identified three “clusters” of commonly cited skills in the international literature: cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills. These three clusters align favorably with the three domains specified by the Committee on Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills, convened by the US-based National Research Council, as well as other prominent models. A subset of these skills could be assessed, in combination with foundational skills such as literacy and mathematics, in order to ascertain whether or not youth of secondary school age (i.e. around 15–18 years of age) are finishing their tenure in formal schooling with at least a modicum of “work readiness” skills. This report describes a framework for understanding and measuring employability skills.

Measuring Soft Skills Through Mobile Gaming [Presentation]

This presentation was prepared for UNESCO Mobile Learning Week, 2018. It describes an RTI International internal research program to learn whether mobile gaming can be used to assess soft skills important for employability. The presentation was created by Lee Nordstrum and delivered by Sarah Pouezevara.

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.

Special Issue--Working to improve: seven approaches to quality improvement in education

A collection of articles on Improvement Science, published in a special issue (Volume 25 Issue 1) of the journal "Quality Assurance in Education". Each article describes one of seven improvement methods, presents its history, and gives at least one example of it employed in the education sector. The seven improvement methods covered by these articles are: - Networked improvement communities - Design-based implementation research - Implementation science - Lean - Six Sigma - Positive Deviants - Deliverology

National Baseline Assessment for the 3Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic) Using EGRA, EGMA, and SSME in Tanzania

In July 2013, the National Baseline Assessment for 3Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic)Using Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA), and Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness (SSME) was initiated. The purpose of this assessment was to monitor the achievement levels of students in the early grades with regard to foundational skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Incentives to teach, incentives to read: A pilot of symbolic incentives for teachers and students in Jordan

Motivation is key to behavior change in teaching and learning processes. Motivated teachers are thought to be more likely to be willing to experiment with different instructional approaches in the classroom. Motivated students are hypothesized to put forth extra effort during learning activities. These assumptions posit that incentives, or rewards based on evidence of behavior change, may have a role to play in enhancing the motivation of teachers and students. This report presents findings from a short-term incentive pilot program conducted in one governorate in Jordan. During this pilot, students in treatment schools were offered a symbolic (non-monetary) incentive if they read at least 24 books at home over the 8-week implementation period. Teachers were offered a symbolic incentive if they received high scores from coaches during most (at least 50%) of their observed classroom lessons. This report presents findings from this pilot program.

Indonesia 2014: The National Early Grade Reading Assessment and Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness Survey: Report of Findings

In partnership with the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Indonesia), RTI International administered the two surveys to 4,812 grade 2 students, equally divided between boys and girls and equally allocated across the four proposed “regions” of (1) Sumatra and its adjacent islands; (2) Java and Bali; (3) Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and its adjacent islands; and (4) the “MNP” region, consisting of Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur [NTT]), West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat [NTB]), and Papua islands (Eastern Region).

Effective Teaching and Education Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa (Report)

This report, which is broadly tasked with presenting evidence on the state of teacher effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa, represents an attempt to bridge the gap between what has hitherto been a sustained focus on teacher characteristics or student outcomes and a more holistic conceptualization of effective teaching, one that also emphasizes teachers' actual instructional practice and pedagogical moves. To do so, the report draws on data and findings germane to teacher effectiveness from international databases and assessments and critically supplements these data with recent findings from donor-funded projects and evaluations that specifically attempt to observe teachers' classroom instruction. The second section of the report presents evidence from the educational plans and policies of 11 sub-Saharan African countries and shows that these often focus on teacher characteristics, classroom inputs, professional guidelines, and (to some extent) teaching practices. A third section of the report describes four barriers to focusing more on effective teaching (as opposed to effective teachers and successful teaching) in sub-Saharan African countries. The report concludes with policy recommendations and considerations.

Liberia Teacher Training Program Endline Assessment of the Impact of Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Interventions

This report addresses the main research question: In Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 schools, were the pupils who participated in the United States Agency for International Development’s Liberia Teacher Training Program (LTTP) Phase II (LTTP II) reading and mathematics interventions now achieving better results?

National Early Grade Literacy and Numeracy Survey Jordan: Intervention Impact Analysis Report in Arabic

This report, translated in Arabic, discusses the impact and results of the pilot intervention that was implemented during the 2013-2014 school year across 43 schools reaching more than 400 teachers and approximately 12,000 students in Jordan.