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The Negative Consequences of Overambitious Curricula in Developing Countries

  • Lant Pritchett
  • Amanda Beatty

Learning profiles that track changes in student skills per year of schooling often find shockingly low learning gains. Using data from three recent studies in South Asia and Africa, it is shown that a majority of students spend years of instruction with no progress on basics. Shallow learning profiles are in part the result of curricular paces moving much faster than the pace of learning. To demonstrate the consequences of a gap between the curriculum and student mastery, a simple, formal model is constructed, which portrays learning as the result of a match between student skill and instructional levels, rather than the standard (if implicit) assumption that all children learn the same from the same instruction. [CGD Working paper 293]. URL:[http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1426129]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:4949.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:4949
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  1. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2009. "Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," Working Paper Series rwp09-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Banerjee, Abhijit & Banerji, Rukmini & Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Khemani, Stuti, 2008. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 6781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit & Cole, Shawn & Duflo, Esther & Linden, Leigh, 2006. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 5446, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Das, Jishnu & Pandey, Priyanka & Zajonc, Tristan, 2006. "Learning levels and gaps in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4067, The World Bank.
  5. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 7043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Das, Jishnu & Zajonc, Tristan, 2008. "India shining and Bharat drowning: comparing two Indian states to the worldwide distribution in mathematics achievement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4644, The World Bank.
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