New research, published in Science, explores what improves education in the developing world. The authors reviewed evidence from randomised evaluations. The research showed that making school more financially attractive can increase participation, for example, by providing financial support for poor mothers and through scholarships. Improving the health of children and providing information on how earnings would rise with education can increase schooling even more cost-effectively. Programmes designed to improve teacher performance and school accountability were more context-dependent. Pedagogical reforms that match teaching to pupils’ learning levels were found to be highly cost effective, as were reforms to improve accountability and incentives. “More of the same” solutions, such as more textbooks, had little effect on achievement.
Source: The Challenge of Education and Learning in the Developing World (2013), Science, 340(6130).