Education Notes

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Education Notes is a series produced by the World Bank to share lessons learned from innovative approaches to improving education practice and policy around the globe. Background work for this piece was done in partnership, with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 25
  • Publication
    Are You Thinking About School Grants? Some Questions to Consider
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-22) Barón, Juan D.; Lee, Jessica D.; Tamagnan, Marie
    Guidance on designing and implementing school grants (both unconditional and conditional) is crucial. This note, while not a comprehensive guide on school grants, contains a small subset of practical questions alongside country examples for practitioners to consider when designing or improving a school grants scheme.
  • Publication
    Resource Guide for Teacher Professional Development Reforms
    (Washington, DC, 2022-09) World Bank
    Successful design and implementation of a teacher professional development (TPD) program require more than getting the technical details of an intervention right. What is required is to understand the policies, processes, actors, and institutions that may facilitate or hinder the successful design, and implementation of a TPD program. Practitioners with stronger understanding of the economic and political support for TPD reform are more likely to design and effectively implement programs that are sustainable and have stronger stakeholder buy-in. However, navigating reforms at the sector level is not an easy exercise, especially in contexts in which: (a) institutions may lack clear mandates; (b) resources are constrained and not always transparently executed; and (c) actors are not working in coordination and alignment. Designed to support Task Team Leaders (TTLs) through the process of TPD reform, this guide has two objectives: (1) highlight the key stages of TPD program development and the considerations for supporting TPD reforms; (2) increase access to available resources that can support improved diagnosis, design, implementation, and evaluation of TPD programs.
  • Publication
    Structuring Effective 1-1 Support: Technical Guidance Note
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021) Wilichowski, Tracy; Popova, Anna
    Teachers in low- and middle-income countries often lack the knowledge to improve student achievement and exhibit weak cognitive skills and ineffective teaching practices. Teacher professional development (TPD) programs that are embedded as part of a larger comprehensive capacity development strategy and include ongoing individualized feedback have shown large positive effects on teachers' instruction, and, subsequently, on student learning outcomes. However, what this comprehensive professional development entails in practice has not been systematically documented. The questions are who in the system is best placed to support teachers; how many teachers should these individuals support; how often should these individuals visit teachers; and how long should these individuals observe and provide feedback. This technical guidance note provides explicit guidance for policymakers on how to structure the delivery of a successful in-service TPD coaching intervention. This note also can be used by Task Team Leaders (TTLs) to establish dialogue with their clients and to inform project preparation and supervision.
  • Publication
    Transforming Adversity into Opportunity: How Resilience Can Promote Quality Education Amidst Conflict and Violence
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05) Reyes, Joel
    This Education Note concerns education systems in countries at all levels of development increasingly need to manage the challenges of crisis, conflict, and violence. For more than 40 years, research into resilience has sought to understand how positive outcomes, such as mental and physical health, positive interpersonal relations, socially acceptable behavior, academic success, etc., can result across a wide range of adverse conditions. In the field of education, resilience studies provide evidence that many students succeed academically despite adverse economic conditions, homelessness and transitory situations, violence, and conflict-affected social exclusion. Resilience matters in education because learning and school success are not only possible in spite of adversity, but also education can be the vehicle to overcome it.
  • Publication
    Towards an Operationalization of Resilience in Education Systems: Identifying, Protecting and Using Assets in Education Communities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05) Reyes, Joel
    This Education Note presents the findings from the first four Education Resilience Approaches (ERA) pilots from the countries of Rwanda, South Sudan, Honduras, and the UNRWA system in West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan. The findings illustrate the facets of education resilience and how it can be fostered. Education resilience involves identifying risks and assets, protecting the assets in schools and communities, and aligning education system commitment to a resilience approach. Resilience matters in education because learning and school success are not only possible in spite of adversity, but also education can be the vehicle to overcome it.
  • Publication
    Measuring Learning : How Effective Student Assessment Systems Can Help Achieve Learning for All
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-02) Clarke, Marguerite
    The importance of learning assessment is linked to growing evidence that learning drives prosperity. Research finds a one standard deviation increase in scores on international assessments of reading and mathematics is associated with a 2 percent point increase in annual growth rates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (Hanushek and Woessmann, 2007). This brief includes the following headings: challenges to assessing student learning; what do assessment systems look like?; Effective assessment systems; and reference.
  • Publication
    Learning from the Best : Improving Learning Through Effective Teacher Policies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-02) Vegas, Emiliana; Ganimian, Alejandro; Jaimovich, Analia
    An education system is only as good as its teachers. Both developed and developing countries have increasingly become concerned with increasing the effectiveness of their teachers. Successful education systems achieve the eight SABER-Teacher teacher policy goals in different ways, but they all produce superior student and teacher performance. The World Bank has studied top-performing systems. These systems are particularly effective at attracting the best individuals to the teaching profession and preparing them exceptionally. Once teachers enter the profession, the system grants them ample discretion to decide how to best achieve superior student performance and focuses on supporting them rather than trying to steer them in any particular direction. Finland provides a good example of this type of system. These systems also place considerable trust in teachers. Such systems are built on the notion that excellent teaching is not the responsibility of a single instructor, but rather, of the profession as a whole. Thus, they institute mechanisms that foster collaboration and encourage teachers to hold their peers accountable for the quality of their work. Shanghai, China, offers a good example of this type of system. These systems exert tight control over teachers' daily work in the classroom. They provide teachers with detailed guidelines, closely monitor the execution of these guidelines, and use multiple incentives to reward outstanding teaching. At the same time, accountability mechanisms tackle poor teacher effort and performance.
  • Publication
    Education Finance : It's How, Not Simply How Much, That Counts
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-02) Vegas, Emiliana; Coffin, Chelsea
    The precise relationship between spending and learning outcomes in education is unknown, which leads some researchers and policy makers to question whether the amount of spending in education matters at all (Hanushek 1986). Among countries with similar levels of income, those that spend more on education do not necessarily score higher on international assessments such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Even within an education system, student achievement varies among localities that spend comparable amounts (Wag staff and Wang 2011). The observation that learning outcomes are seemingly unrelated to spending levels supports the argument that how money is spent, not simply how much, matters in education finance. Education spending represents the point at which monetary resources begin to promote learning outcomes. National, subnational, and local governments; the private sector; and sometimes even international actors may spend money on public education. Fiscal control mechanisms are crucial for understanding education finance systems; they are used to plan, monitor, and execute a country's education budget. If resources are not used for their intended purpose, it is unlikely that education services will be of adequate quality.
  • Publication
    Enhancing Accountability in Schools : What Can Choice and Contracting Contribute
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-04) Patrinos, Harry Anthony
    This note claims that contracting in education can be employed for initiatives of varying sizes and across a range of services. For policy-makers, contracting represents an effective means of introducing accountability in the education system. Contracting can also insulate governments from some of the criticism leveled at privatization. Moreover, it can bring in skills and capital to the education sector.
  • Publication
    Fast Track Initiative : Building a Global Compact for Education
    (Washington, DC, 2005-09) World Bank
    The Education for All -- Fast Track Initiative (FTI) was launched in 2002 as a partnership between donor and developing countries to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education. FTI is built on mutual commitments: 1) partner countries have agreed to give priority to primary education and to develop sound national education plans, and 2) donors have agreed to increase support in a transparent, coordinated manner. This paper includes the following headings: the Education for All -- Fast Track Initiative (FTI); FTI promotes education policy reform; FTI promotes aid effectiveness; monitoring and evaluation; FTI trust funds; and expansion of FTI.