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The Negative Consequences of Overambitious Curricula in Developing Countries

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  • Lant Pritchett
  • Amanda Beatty

Abstract

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]

Suggested Citation

  • Lant Pritchett & Amanda Beatty, 2012. "The Negative Consequences of Overambitious Curricula in Developing Countries," Working Papers id:4949, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:4949
    Note: Institutional Papers
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Sam, 2016. "How does classroom composition affect learning outcomes in Ugandan primary schools?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 66-78.
    2. Lee, Melissa M. & Izama, Melina Platas, 2015. "Aid Externalities: Evidence from PEPFAR in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 281-294.
    3. Nadel, Sara & Pritchett, Lant, 2016. "Searching for the Devil in the Details: Learning about Development Program Design," Working Paper Series rwp16-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Masooma Habib, 2013. "Education in Pakistan’s Punjab: Outcomes and Interventions," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 21-48, September.
    5. Atuhurra, Julius & Alinda, Violet, 2017. "Basic Education curriculum effectiveness analysis in East Africa: Using the ‘Surveys of Enacted Curriculum’ framework to describe primary mathematics and English content in Uganda," MPRA Paper 79017, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 May 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South asia; africa; Developing Countries; Curricula; potential learning; teachers; student mastery; curriculum; learning; production; basic schooling; children; skills; India; grade learning profile; mechanical arithmetic operations; Andhra Pradesh; Annual Status of Education Report (ASER);

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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