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Adjusting content to individual student needs: Further evidence from an in-service teacher training program

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  • Bouguen, Adrien

Abstract

Adapting instruction to the specific needs of each student is a promising strategy to improve overall academic achievement. In this article, I study the impact of an intensive in-service teacher training program on reading skills offered to kindergarten teachers in France. The program modifies the lesson content and encourages teachers to adapt instruction to student needs by dividing the class according to initial achievement. While assessing impact is usually difficult due to the presence of ability bias and teacher selection, I show that in this context, a value-added model that controls for school and teacher characteristics constitutes a legitimate strategy to estimate the treatment effect. Results show that all students benefiting from the program progressed in reading skills at the end of the year. Besides, weaker students progressed faster on less-advanced competences (such as letter recognition), while stronger students improved their reading skills. This suggests that teachers adjusted content to students’ needs. Finally, a cost-effectiveness analysis reveals that the program is approximately three times more cost-effective than reducing class size in France.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouguen, Adrien, 2016. "Adjusting content to individual student needs: Further evidence from an in-service teacher training program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 90-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:50:y:2016:i:c:p:90-112
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.12.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrien Bouguen & Julien Grenet & Marc Gurgand, 2017. "Does class size influence student achievement?," Post-Print halshs-02522747, HAL.
    2. Jacob, Brian, 2017. "When evidence is not enough: Findings from a randomized evaluation of Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI)," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 5-16.
    3. Adrien Bouguen & Julien Grenet & Marc Gurgand, 2017. "Does class size influence student achievement?," Post-Print halshs-02522747, HAL.
    4. Adrien Bouguen & Julien Grenet & Marc Gurgand, 2017. "La taille des classes influence-t-elle la réussite scolaire ?," Institut des Politiques Publiques hal-02453596, HAL.
    5. Adrien Bouguen & Julien Grenet & Marc Gurgand, 2017. "La taille des classes influence-t-elle la réussite scolaire ?," Post-Print hal-02453596, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early childcare program; Teacher training; Teaching practices and content; Inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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