Gathering global experience and sharing our knowledge to improve quality and inclusivity of education for all
Education policymakers around the world have long shared a key priority: achieving high-quality teaching and learning at scale. This requires strong delivery systems at every level. While there is significant evidence on the important roles played by teachers and leaders, comparatively little attention has been paid to the role – and potential – of middle-tier professionals such as supervisors, instructional coaches and mentors at the regional, district and sub-district level. These actors are key intermediaries in education systems, but their role in teaching and learning improvement has often been overlooked in research and policy debates. In our latest report, together with IIEP-UNESCO and the Education Commission, we highlight the potential of these middle-tier actors as a critical part of the ‘machine’ for quality teaching and learning at scale.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been intensely disruptive to education all around the world. With children in many countries continuing to face prolonged absences from the classroom, innovative solutions are needed to maintain education continuity, especially for the most vulnerable students. Such crises require solutions that go beyond the resources of the ‘traditional’ education workforce, with local communities and inputs from other sectors playing a potentially important role in ensuring continuity of learning. This report, the second in our Learning Renewed series, explores the solutions adopted by our team in Kenya, where we have redesigned the roles of community health volunteers (CHVs) to support continuity of learning for the vulnerable girls we work with, and identifies key lessons which may prove valuable both during and beyond the current crisis.
This report is based on a rapid survey of recently published materials, guidance documents and media commentary. It summarises what we know and understand about the impacts of the prolonged school closures that followed the spread of Covid-19 and the context of school reopening and plans for learning recovery.
A growing concern for education policymakers is how to improve teaching and learning quality at scale, and how to strengthen delivery systems to achieve this. IIEP-UNESCO and Education Development Trust see the ‘middle tier’ of education systems as a potential solution to this challenge. In a new research collaboration, we are investigating the potential of middle tier professionals – district supervisors, pedagogical coaches and teacher mentors – to act as catalysts for change in local school reforms. This is a neglected area of research and the new work will look at six case studies of effective or promising practice from around the world, in which the middle tier is playing a key role in scaling effective teaching and learning reforms.
Over the past two years, we have conducted the first two stages of a research project looking at the effectiveness of an education assessment centre and its ability to predict teacher effectiveness. Following our first report published in 2020, we have now published an update report for 2021, which accounts for the additional data we have gathered on our Future Teaching Scholars’ later classroom performance.
Our new report about systems thinking and its place in education transformation reflects on key published literature and on specific outputs from our own programme of research which has placed emphasis on system reform over the past five years. The work we do at Education Development Trust brings us into direct contact with education systems, and their governments. We are tasked with helping to solve intractable educational challenges. Systems thinking is a vital component part of what we do, how we understand the nature of the issues and how we support change.
Effective careers advice is impossible without good quality labour market information. Careers professionals and advisers, the people whose job it is to offer and support careers advice in the community or in schools, are key to success. Vital to their work is access and familiarity with a robust and sophisticated body of intelligence about the labour market.
What is the most important thing we can do to get evidence to drive education reform at the highest levels? This is an age-old question as much as it is a pressing and relevant challenge today. For researchers and champions of evidence use for decision making, it is also a professional conundrum. For Anna Riggall, Director - Research & Consultancy at EDT, the answer is straight forward. She argues evidence production must be demand driven and the process led by the right people.