Quality Education: Improving Instruction

Students eager to be called on during a reading lesson at a school outside of Dakar, Senegal. Photo by Dana Schmidt/Hewlett Foundation.

Good teaching is essential to making sure that students learn. Yet too often, government policies have failed to focus on improving the practice of teaching. For instance, in many countries, teachers are not specifically taught how to teach children to read. In other cases, children do not have access to reading materials in a language they understand.

QEDC’s grantmaking seeks to identify effective instructional approaches by supporting promising practices in government schools and supporting external evaluations to assess their effectiveness. QEDC supports projects with well-defined teaching methods and materials to improve learning in the first three grades of primary school. The models respond to government cost constraints and existing school conditions (e.g., crowded classrooms, poorly motivated teachers with weak skills, and teacher absenteeism). Each instructional model is coupled with an external evaluation, including baseline data and a control group, to determine the impact of the model on student learning.

The goal is to provide evidence about cost-effective approaches to improve classroom practice and student learning. The factors outlined above help to ensure that successful instructional models can be replicated and institutionalized across the country and, potentially, adapted elsewhere in the developing world.

More on Quality Education in Developing Countries:

The Global Development and Population Program is not accepting Letters of Inquiry for its QEDC initiative at this time.