BlogNews

News, ideas, and analysis from J-PAL staff and affiliated professors. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly email updates.

Student learning

Adapting a new educational approach to francophone West Africa

Thursday, May 31, 2018, by Ana Maria Tabacaru

In francophone West Africa, despite progress made in primary school enrollment rates, students’ learning levels remain low throughout primary school. For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, more than half of students did not reach a “satisfactory” level in reading and almost three in four students did not reach a “satisfactory” level in mathematics at the end of primary school. In Niger, the numbers are even lower—in both reading and math,... Read More

Teaching at the Right Level: Inside the classroom

Tuesday, February 27, 2018, by Ashleigh Morrell and Kim Tichmann

The application of the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach in Zambia, through the Ministry of General Education’s Catch Up program, provides an opportunity to capture key aspects of TaRL in an African context.

TaRL pioneer Pratham, together with J-PAL Africa, worked closely with the Ministry of General Education to produce a set of videos that transport the viewer into a... Read More

Engaging parents through technology improves academic outcomes

Wednesday, February 14, 2018, by Peter Bergman

This post first appeared on the Jacobs Foundation Blog on Learning and Development (BOLD).

Back in 2012, I was sitting in the main office of a high school near downtown Los Angeles when a mother came in to speak with the guidance counselor. She was concerned; she had not heard from the school in a week about how her son was doing in his classes.

Sure, every evening... Read More

Students collaborate on laptop

Exploring the promise of education technology

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, by Vincent Quan

Around the world, there is widespread and growing interest in the use of technology in education. A recent industry projection estimated the global education technology—or “edtech”—industry to be valued at $252 billion by 2020. However, the rapid growth in use of edtech has outpaced rigorous research on its effectiveness. It’s important to step back and understand how different technologies affect student learning in order to ensure education technology serves to... Read More

Woman helps a girl with her reading

Zambia to scale Teaching at the Right Level program to 1,800 schools

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Emily Cupito and Ben Simuyandi

Building on over a decade of rigorous research around the world and two years of iterative learning in Zambia, the Ministry of General Education will scale up a program called Catch Up to approximately 1,800 schools in Zambia over the next three years. Based on the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach pioneered by the Indian NGO Pratham, Catch Up aims to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills of primary... Read More

Woman plays educational games with children

New findings on children’s math learning in India demonstrate the importance of field research for cognitive science

Friday, July 7, 2017, by Esther Duflo

Cognitive Science is a relatively new field that has made dramatic advances over the last decades: advances that shed light on our conscious and unconscious minds, bring insights into fields from neuroscience to economics, and now play no small role in the development of machines that are smart enough to take over tasks that until now, only humans could perform. 

But cognitive science has underperformed conspicuously in one domain: Its... Read More

Learning from charter school lotteries: new J-PAL policy publication

Monday, May 1, 2017, by Julia Chabrier

In the United States, about 2.5 million students attend one of the approximately 6,500 publicly funded charter schools. However, until recently there has been little rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of these alternatives to traditional public schools. A new policy bulletin produced by J-PAL North America reviews results from 17 evaluations in the United States that used admissions lotteries to study the impact of charter schools on student test scores and... Read More

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