Teachers and the Teaching Profession I: Training and Coaching
As millions of parents around the world abruptly discovered, amid Covid-19 school closures, teaching is not child’s play.
Given how difficult it is to teach well, education systems need to support teachers to continually build their competencies. To facilitate student learning, teacher training has to be aligned not only with effective pedagogical practice, but also with students’ learning levels, teachers’ context-specific needs, and local curricular requirements.
The four papers in this panel examine both the importance and the complexity of training and coaching for in-service teachers. Two of these papers evaluate non-traditional modes of teacher training.
RISE Fellow Janeli Kotzé will compare the effectiveness of virtual, tablet-based coaching and on-site coaching for South African primary school teachers, and show that the high-tech coaching intervention had lower per-unit costs than the on-site model but was ultimately less cost-effective because it had smaller effects on student learning.
Charlotte Jones will discuss a study of the delivery of teacher professional development through communities of practice implemented at scale in Kenya and Rwanda, and identify characteristics of effective communities of practice. A third paper looks not only at teachers but also the local community.
Andy de Barros will examine the efficacy of teacher training and instructional materials for a primary school mathematics programme in Karnataka, India, and discuss whether student learning received an additional boost when the training and materials were complemented by community engagement events.
Finally, Todd Pugatch will present results from an evaluation of the impact of an extensive teacher training programme on the delivery of a compulsory entrepreneurship course in Rwandan secondary schools across a range of outcomes. He will show that the training had positive effects on teachers’ pedagogical practices and students’ participation in entrepreneurial activities, but no effect on students’ cognitive or non-cognitive skills, nor on their overall income.