Teaching Effectively All Children (TEACh): India and Pakistan
Governments across the world recognize the importance of providing an education to all children within an inclusive education system. Yet, despite great progress in getting more children into school over the past decade, children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to experience poor quality of education limiting chances of fulfilling their learning
potential. Children who face multiple disadvantages related to disability, poverty, gender, caste, religion or where they live, are amongst those least likely to be learning.
The project aims to identify strategies to raise learning outcomes for all children, regardless of their background. It is widely recognized that teachers are central to a child's educational experience. Yet, in low income countries, disadvantaged learners often face poor quality teaching: many teachers are recruited without having a basic subject knowledge themselves, receive inadequate training with limited attention to strategies to support children from diverse backgrounds, and weak incentives and poor teacher governance can lead to low motivation and high levels of teacher absenteeism. The research will, therefore identify which aspects of teaching are most important for improving all children's learning, and so
inform governments on the strategies needed to support children who face multiple disadvantages.
The research will be conducted in India and Pakistan, countries characteristic of other poor countries in terms of wide learning inequalities. India shows some advances in identifying strategies to tackle disadvantage, while Pakistan is similar to many other low income countries in not yet having such strategies.
Recognising that limited information is available on learning levels of children facing different forms of disadvantages who are not in school, the research will assess children both in the household and in schools. The focus of these tests will be on achievement of foundation skills of reading, writing, reasoning and numeracy that children are expected to acquire in primary school. This will be followed up with a test a year later in order to identify what learning gains have been made, and the extent to which these gains can be attributed to particular teacher characteristics, or other factors such as family background. The research will further provide an in-depth understanding of the problems that teachers face in supporting students from diverse backgrounds within the classroom, the teaching practices they adopt, and the kinds of support they need in order to make sure they are able to help all children fulfill their learning potential.
The research will aim to make an important contribution to how measures of learning need to be enriched to include children with disabilities. In addition to adapting existing learning assessments for use in braille or using sign language, for example, it will also trial tests that measure other aspects of learning, such as self-esteem and peer relationships, taking into consideration how these could be adopted on a larger scale.
This research will contribute to debates about the future of global goals on education after 2015 which are focusing on raising learning outcomes in ways that make sure no one is left behind. Achieving these goals will require better identification of the characteristics of children not learning, and the implementation of strategies within countries to
strengthen the effectiveness of teaching in ways that address diversity in the classroom.
Principal Investigator: Professor Pauline Rose
Co-Investigators: Dr Nidhi Singal; Professor Anna Vignoles
Research Associate: Dr Matt Somerville
Associated researchers: Dr Monazza Aslam (Institute of Education/University of Oxford), Dr Shenila Rawal (Institute of Education);
Funder: ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes in Effective Education Systems programme
Duration: July-2015-June 2018
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Singal, N. and Sabates, R. (January 2016). Access and learning are equally important for children with disabilities. Global Partnership for Education blog.
UN says 69 million teachers needed for global school pledge. BBC News, 5 October 2016.
Education that adds up. University of Cambridge Research Horizons, 16 October 2015.