The Persistent Impacts of Targeted Instruction at Scale
Studies from Ghana and India show that teaching to the learning level of primary school students instead of the grade level—“targeted instruction”—improves foundational literacy and numeracy. As this program has spread to 11 African countries, this study answers two important questions: How can existing government systems effectively implement this program? Do foundational gains translate to grade-level learning and persist beyond primary school? We are conducting a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the government-led scale-up of targeted instruction in Ghana, testing its impact on student learning and whether training existing school managers improves program efficacy. With J-PAL funding we will analyze the long-term effects of this reform, testing whether learning gains persist into junior high school, one year after students were treated in grade 6. Preliminary results indicate successful implementation, suggesting that our evaluation will detect substantial learning gains that may persist as students transition to higher education.