Syndicate content


What’s new in education research? Impact evaluations and measurement – October round-up

David Evans's picture

Here is a curated round-up of recent research on education in low- and middle-income countries, with a few findings from high-income countries that I found relevant. All are from the course of 2016.

If I’m missing recent articles that you’ve found useful, please add them in the comments!

Training teachers on the job: What we know, and why we know less than we should

Anna Popova's picture

or, why we need more systematic (and simply more) reporting on the nature of interventions

The hope. Last year, we reviewed six reviews of what interventions work to improve learning. One promising area of overlap across reviews had to do with training teachers who were already on the job (i.e., in-service teacher training or teacher professional development). Specifically, we proposed that “individualized, repeated teacher training, associated with a specific method of task” was associated with learning gains.

How do you scale up an effective education intervention? Iteratively, that’s how.

David Evans's picture
So you have this motivated, tightly controlled, highly competent non-government organization (NGO). And they implement an innovative educational experiment, using a randomized controlled trial to test it. It really seems to improve student learning. What next? You try to scale it or implement it within government systems, and it doesn’t work nearly as well.

Starting life off on the wrong foot

Markus Goldstein's picture
I was recently at the GW conference on the economics & political economy of Africa where I saw an interesting paper by Richard Akresh, Emilie Bagby, Damien de Walque, and Harounan Kazianga on Burkina Faso.    Akresh and co. make another compelling argument for focusing on early childhood (and indeed, in utero).   Kids whose household has a shock during this critical period are less smart – and this leads to them going to school less. 

What are Schools Worth? That Depends on the General Equilibrium Effects - Guest post by Gaurav Khanna

Large-scale educational expansions represent substantial investments of public resources and benefit households by increasing education levels, and therefore productivity in the local economy. However, since they impact both individual behavior and labor markets, convincing causal estimates of their overall benefits are hard to generate.

Do school grants buy student learning? No.

David Evans's picture
A few weeks ago, I participated in a debate on whether school grants buy student learning. I agreed to argue a firm no – as in, “No, school grants do NOT buy student learning” – because I believe the evidence to date strongly supports that. Here I’ll review that evidence.
Let me be clear about what I’m not saying.