Author: David Orr, Jo Westbrook, John Pryor, Naureen Durrani, Judy Sebba and Christine Adu-Yeboah
Year: 2013
Full Citation: Orr, D., Westbrook, J., Pryor, J., Durrani, N., Sebba, J., Adu-Yeboah, C. (2013). What are the impacts and cost-effectiveness of strategies to improve performance of untrained and under-trained teachers in the classroom in developing countries? (Systematic Review). London: EPPI- Centre, Social Science Research Centre, Institute of Education, University of London.
Target Population(s):
Overview: There is an urgent need to understand better the processes and outcomes involved in the classroom performance of untrained or under-trained teachers (UUTs) in the teacher workforce and to investigate the various ways in which such teachers get a belated education, training or upgrading. This review explored the following research question:
  • What are the impacts and cost-effectiveness of strategies to improve performance of untrained and under-trained teachers in the classroom in low and middle-income countries?
This was done through the following sub-questions:
  • How do UUTs perform in the classroom, and what factors affect their performance?
  • What forms of intervention have been used to attempt to improve the performance of these teachers?
  • How have these interventions affected these teachers’ methods, skills and motivation, the performance of their pupils, and the satisfaction of parents, headteachers and other stakeholders?
  • What is the available evidence for the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of such interventions, and what are the factors that may influence these in different settings?
Findings: No one strategy was shown to be directly related to impact on teacher performance; rather, interventions included different combinations of strategies which were applied and evaluated as a package. This makes it hard to disaggregate the significant elements of the overall intervention. Successful interventions in the studies that were rated as more robust and trustworthy each included several strategies. The three most frequently applied strategies were:
  • training workshops (long or short face-to-face meetings, tutorials, workshops or lectures, often in teacher resource centres or a central school within a geographical cluster)
What are the impacts and cost-effectiveness of strategies to improve performance of untrained and under-trained teachers in the classroom in developing countries?
  • independent study (structured distance learning self-study materials to enhance subject knowledge or prepare for written assignments or examinations)
  • in-class support (provided by a trainer or mentor who visits a trainee in their classroom, and observes and discusses their teaching)
These three key strategies were followed in terms of frequency by:
  • in-school support (groups or pairs of UUTs met to discuss or share their learning, sometimes facilitated by a tutor or more experienced colleague)
  • school clusters (group activities and peer learning in school clusters through study circle meetings or pairings of teachers or groups, sometimes facilitated by a tutor to work on specific modules or to discuss practice).
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