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A sample of fo 309 teachers who participated in our 2019 programmes showed improved motivation and increases in self-efficacy across four areas of classroom practice.
We are very much still on our impact measurement journey but so far our results have been both encouraging and a powerful influence on our strategy. In this blog, we’ll set out some of what we’ve learnt and share some results from our programmes in 2019.
First, let’s start with the problem. Millions of children are in school but not learning. Teaching is the single most important factor influencing learning in schools.
In-low resource contexts, most teachers don’t get the support they need to succeed. Our 2019, surveys of 1482 teachers showed that 1⁄3 of teachers were getting a structured ongoing development program.
Research shows that in low-resource contexts, where in-service programmes do exist, they rarely follow best practices in teacher development and adult learning.
At Inspiring Teachers, (formerly LRTT) we’ve been working to change that since 2011. Our approach has been solution has been to find innovative ways to help more teachers get more in-service training and support. We’ve done it through a combination of cross-border partnerships and joint programmes with local organisations that are committed to education in their community.
First off though I’ll explain our theory of change and how we think about evidence. Our basic theory of change is that if we can help teachers learn, practice and embed evidence-based teaching techniques in their classrooms then that will help them improve learning outcomes.
In 2019, we ran programs for 1492 teachers through a program that combined workshops with peer coaching provided by 520 Inspiring Teachers Fellows.
Finally, we measured teacher satisfaction and perception of the program. 93% of teachers say they now feel more confident in their teaching skills. 93% of teachers say they feel more valued as a teacher after the institute. 95% of teachers say that the programme had a positive impact on their community.
We measured the impact of the program on the teaching using a survey tool that combined measures developed by Young Lives, Ohio State University and researchers at Columbia University. Items that made up the tool had previously been tested and shown strong internal validity in research in India and in several African countries.
The tool used a combination of self-efficacy measures and items measuring different aspects of teacher motivation and was provided to all participating teachers at both the beginning and at the end of the program with data that showed internal validity gathered for 309 teachers.
These teachers showed increased self-efficacy in: Classroom management (0.16 SD) Lesson planning (0.15 SD) Teaching new content (0.25 SD) Checking for understanding (0.21 SD)
We were encouraged by these findings that the program improved teachers self-efficacy because it both shows that teachers believe the programme helped them get better and because there is a strong body of evidence associating self-efficacy with teacher wellbeing, observed teaching, and most importantly, student learning outcomes.
Teachers were more likely to believe their efforts would pay off and showed higher levels of collective efficacy the measure identified as the strongest predictor of student learning in Hattie’s Visible Learning 2018.
We are now working to build on them by measuring the impact of our program on observed teaching, using the World Bank’s Teach observation tool, a measure of teaching quality that has been shown to be predictive of learning in classrooms.
Diagnostics used to measure teachers the self-assessed ability
Notes on method: Findings show the impact of the 2019 institute. The sample size varies from 309. Effects are likely to be larger over the 3-year. While visually, professional culture appears to have declined this is not statistically significant. All findings at 95% statistical confidence* and only populations where Cronbach’s alpha internal validity at >0.6 have been included.
We find it helpful to think about impact in terms of the evidence in (how we apply research in the design), evidence within (what happened?) and evidence out (what did that change?).
Evidence in: In 2019, we used a combination of instructional programmes are designed to help teachers use evidence-based teaching strategies. In the past we’ve used, a combination of workshops, conferences and institutes but today, the approach we use is instructional coaching. We use coaching because the research shows it is more effective than traditional, centralised training approaches. You can learn more about our peer coaching program here.
Evidence out: This is where we track what we do to work out how much support teachers are getting. It’s also where we’ve tracked, whether teachers believe they are getting better.
It makes sense to turn to our theory of change. Put simply, our programs are designed to help teachers build agency in applying evidence-based teaching strategies in their classrooms.
By agency, we mean having both the skill and the will to attempt things in the classroom, Our programs, then use deliberate practice to help teachers build confidence with new techniques. Combine with feedback, this helps them experience success.
Evidence out: The final step and the hardest to measure. Is teaching improving? Are children learning more.
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