Training to Teach Science: Experimental Evidence from Argentina

70 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2018 Last revised: 21 Sep 2018

See all articles by Facundo Albornoz

Facundo Albornoz

University of Birmingham

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Melina Gabriela Furman

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Mariana Luzuriaga

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Maria Eugenia Podesta

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Ines Taylor

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Date Written: September 19, 2018

Abstract

This paper evaluates the learning impact of different teacher training methods using a random controlled trial implemented in 70 state schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A control group receiving standard teacher training was compared with two alternative treatment arms: providing a structured curriculum unit or receiving both the unit and weekly coaching. Following a 12-week intervention, there are substantial learning gains for students whose teachers were trained using structured curriculum units, as well as for those whose teachers received coaching (between 55 percent and 64 percent of a standard deviation more than those students in the control group). Coaching teachers does not appear to be cost-effective, as the unit cost per 0.1 standard deviation is more than twice the cost of using only the structured curriculum unit. However, additional coaching is particularly beneficial for inexperienced teachers with less than two years of teaching Science. Coaching teachers also showed specific gains for girls, who both learned and declared to enjoy science lessons more. Higher-performing students especially benefited from both interventions, with students from coached teachers performing particularly well in harder questions. Using structured curriculum units and providing coaching also affected teacher perceptions: teachers expressed that they enjoyed teaching Science more and taught more hours of Science, and that their students developed more skills. Results from a follow-up survey suggest persistent change in teacher practice, with the vast majority reporting using the structured curriculum unit one year after the intervention.

Keywords: Educational Sciences, Educational Institutions & Facilities, Effective Schools and Teachers, Gender and Development

Suggested Citation

Albornoz, Facundo and Anauati, Maria Victoria and Furman, Melina Gabriela and Luzuriaga, Mariana and Podesta, Maria Eugenia and Taylor, Ines, Training to Teach Science: Experimental Evidence from Argentina (September 19, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8594, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3252234

Facundo Albornoz (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham ( email )

Economics Department
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Melina Gabriela Furman

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Mariana Luzuriaga

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Maria Eugenia Podesta

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Ines Taylor

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

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