Teachers and Teaching
- How much scripting is too much scripting? Piper et al. review the evidence and find that “structured teachers' guides improve learning outcomes, but that overly scripted teachers' guides are somewhat less effective than simplified teachers' guides that give specific guidance to the teacher but are not written word for word for each lesson in the guide.”
- Teachers in Uganda tend to believe they are better than most other teachers in terms of ability and effort. This is especially true for low-effort teachers (Sabarwal, Kacker, and Habyarimana).
- Across 328 studies with nearly 4,000 effects, Direct Instruction performed really well: “All of the estimated effects were positive and all [with cognitive outcomes] were statistically significant” (Stockard et al.) What’s direct instruction? Think scripted lessons PLUS.
- A small study of 36 teachers in China showed that teachers “scored high on classroom organization, but lower on emotional support and instructional support.” Also, teachers who believe students should be at the center do better. (Coflan et al.)
- A large, unconditional increase in teacher salaries in Indonesia had no impact on student performance (de Ree et al.). This paper has been around (here’s my blog post on it), but it’s just now been published.
- Training teachers in a low-cost, highly scripted teaching method led to big gains in Papua New Guinea (Macdonald and Vu).
- Having subject-specific teachers in primary school may actually lead to less learning and lower student attendance. Evidence from the USA (Fryer) (My blog about it.)