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How to improve teaching practice? Experimental comparison of centralized training and in-classroom coaching

Author

Listed:
  • Jacobus Cilliers

    (McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University)

  • Brahm Fleisch

    (University of Witwatersrand’s School of Education, South Africa)

  • Cas Prinsloo

    (University of Witwatersrand’s School of Education, South Africa)

  • Stephen Taylor

    (Department of Basic Education, Government of South Africa and Research Associate of the Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

We experimentally compare two modes of in-service professional development for South African public primary school teachers. In both programs teachers received the same learning material and daily lesson plans, aligned to the official home language literacy curriculum. Pupils exposed to two years of the program improved their reading proficiency by 0.12 standard deviations if their teachers received centralized training, compared to 0.24 if their teachers received in-class coaching. Classroom observations reveal that teachers were more likely to split pupils into smaller reading groups, which enabled individualized attention and more opportunities to practice reading. Results vary by class size and baseline pupil reading proficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacobus Cilliers & Brahm Fleisch & Cas Prinsloo & Stephen Taylor, 2018. "How to improve teaching practice? Experimental comparison of centralized training and in-classroom coaching," Working Papers 15/2018, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers308
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jason T. Kerwin & Rebecca L. Thornton, 2021. "Making the Grade: The Sensitivity of Education Program Effectiveness to Input Choices and Outcome Measures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 251-264, May.
    2. Juan F. Castro & Paul Glewwe & Ricardo Montero, 2019. "Work With What You’ve Got: Improving Teachers’ Pedagogical Skills at Scale in Rural Peru," Working Papers 158, Peruvian Economic Association.
    3. Blimpo, Moussa P. & Pugatch, Todd, 2021. "Entrepreneurship education and teacher training in Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    4. Cilliers, Jacobus & Mbiti, Isaac M. & Zeitlin, Andrew, 2019. "Can Public Rankings Improve School Performance? Evidence from a Nationwide Reform in Tanzania," IZA Discussion Papers 12172, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Buhl-Wiggers, Julie & Kerwin, Jason & Muñoz, Juan Sebastián & Smith, Jeffrey A. & Thornton, Rebecca L., 2020. "Some Children Left Behind: Variation in the Effects of an Educational Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 13598, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Kotze, Janeli & Fleisch, Brahm & Taylor, Stephen, 2019. "Alternative forms of early grade instructional coaching: Emerging evidence from field experiments in South Africa," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 203-213.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    South African Education; Randomised Experiment; Teacher coaching and training; Early Grade Reading Study;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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