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RTI International RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute. www.rti.org THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY READING SKILLS: INTERNATIONAL.

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Presentation on theme: "RTI International RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute. www.rti.org THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY READING SKILLS: INTERNATIONAL."— Presentation transcript:

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2 RTI International RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute. THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY READING SKILLS: INTERNATIONAL TRENDS & EXPERIENCES Luis Crouch Research VP and Senior Economist ASER CENTRE TALK November 10th 2010 India International Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

3 RTI International 2 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

4 RTI International 3 Motivation – Bureaucratic/programmatic Many countries doing the right thing (Chile, South Africa, Mexico, etc.) But see no impact on learning Educations MDGs (less so EFA but still) pale in comparison with Health (internationally, nationally) In consequence, Health gets more respect (and funding) from the forward-looking private donors Click for branch-out Click for branch-out

5 RTI International 4 Motivation – Pedagogic Huge amount of evidence of cumulative effects: Matthew effects Unless serious intervention happens early, children are essentially locked into their class of origin

6 RTI International 5 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Christian Bible – St Matthew Matthew effect:

7 RTI International 6 In Heckman, SCIENCE,30 JUNE 2006, VOL 312

8 RTI International 7 Research from Senegal by Glick and Sahn Factors predicting permanence in school, in multivariate model (all factors controlling for each other) 2 nd grade achievement Controlling for all other factors, what happened to the child in 2 nd grade mattered most (note: relative to all others, incl HH Wealth, thus, using controls) In other words: if children doing badly by end of grade 2, other things you can do (more inputs, better infra, good teachers) has a hard time coping with early disadvantage.

9 RTI International 8 Words per minute Matthew Effect in reading Data from the US Good, Simmons, Smith (1998) Grade in years and months (thus 1. is 6 months into Grade 1) Children below a certain level by the end of Grade 1, stay behind forever, and the gap widens And, if they cannot read, they fall behind in everything else

10 RTI International Professionals Workers Welfare prog recipients age in months Vocab by social class of parents Hart and Risley (1995)

11 RTI International 10 Post-secondary participation rates by reading proficiency level at age 15, Canada Knighton and Bussiere, 2006, in McCraken and Murray (date?).

12 RTI International 11 So, early achievement predicts later achievement, and later achievement is key to social and economic growth…

13 RTI International 12 Hanushek & Woessman, Journal of Economic Literature 2008, 46:3, 607–668 Relationship economic growth and learning, across regions

14 RTI International 13 South Africa Morocco Kuwait Qatar Indonesia Iran Slovenia Slovak Rep. France Denmark Italy PIRLS 2006 Results Percent of learners LowestMediumHighest Reading competency levels But this is done by creating a cognitive middle class: eliminating the worst off performance Keep your eye on this

15 RTI International 14 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

16 RTI International 15 History: many streams come together Key NGOs in S. Africa such as Molteno, Read Trust since late 1990s Pratham Key intellectuals such E Schiefelbein of (Min Ed of Chile and also official at UNESCO) Specific alarm (but the kids are not reading!) and also evidence that improvement can be swift In 2005 or so, big international agencies started taking note; WB and USAID funded research to put early assessment tools in public domain Research- and consensus-based; public domain: EGRA Then also fund fast-results methods similar to Pratham

17 RTI International 16 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

18 RTI International 17 Assessment tools – 1: features Many have developed Molteno very early Pratham also Later, EGRA In common: oral only, no pencil-and-paper, focus on very earliest skills but do include some comprehension Some have specific interesting features ASER: classifies so clear remediation implications and utility EGRA: uses fluency explicitly, specific adaptation to countries but international framework, expert-panel-validated Applications Some countries, govt and NGO, both EGRA and others See clickable list

19 RTI International 18 Assessment tools – 1: features Different components EGRA typically: Pure listening (sounds, story comprehension) Book awareness Letter sound and fluency Familiar words and fluency Passage reading and comprehending Writnig ASER Letters Words Two levels of stories

20 RTI International 19 Assessment tools – 2: some results Training EGRA: about 1 week; great emphasis on inter-rater reliabiliy; 95% or so: why? Reliability obtained Around 0.9 or higher; never lower than 0.7 Concurrent validity with comprehension: poorly measured but no lower than 0.5 Principal components analysis: there IS a skill called early reading Interesting correlations ASER – EGRA They track each other very well Question for us: why bother with fluency? Discussion topic?

21 RTI International 20 Assessment tools – 2: some results Training EGRA: about 1 week; great emphasis on inter-rater reliabiliy; 95% or so: why? Reliability obtained Around 0.9 or higher; never lower than 0.7 Concurrent validity with comprehension: poorly measured but no lower than 0.5 Principal components analysis: there IS a skill called early reading Interesting correlations ASER – EGRA They track each other very well Question for us: why bother with fluency? Discussion topic? Assessment tools – 2: some results: children are NOT learning to read

22 RTI International 21 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

23 RTI International 22 Improvement efforts 1. Many key local and international NGOs a. SA: Molteno, Read Trust Went continental in some cases, Molteno Zambia, Ghana b. Peru: Solaris c. Pratham d. Save the Children e. RTI f. Many others 2. Also governments: go national a. The Gambia b. Nicaragua

24 RTI International 23 South Africa results in half a year Pre- to Post-Treatment Gain scores TreatmentControl Letter-naming >100% improvement in all of these is possible in less than 1 year (if base is low!) Familiar word fluency Connected text fluency Comprehension Source: Crouch and Gove (2009), from Piper (2009).

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26 RTI International 25 Grade 2Grade 3 GroupBoysGirlsBoysGirls Fluency Control2%70%32%66% Treatment205%306%105%139% Comprehen sion Control-5%41%17%48% Treatment200%225%102%144% Liberia improvement of results in 1 ½ years !!

27 RTI International 26 Improvement efforts: lessons The Five Ts 1. Time: set time aside to EXPLICITLY teach reading 2. Tongue: start with mother tongue; faster; more solid; transfers easily 3. Teaching: teach teacher to teach reading: explicity, direct, scripted lessons if need be, free if can be: As much freedom as possible, as much scripting as necessary Focus on comprehension from day 1, but do the phonics 4. Texts: flood villages with materials; create instant literate environment 5. Test: assess, communicate, agitate, advocate, get policies changed; locally and nationally

28 RTI International 27 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

29 RTI International 28 Bureaucratic global interest, indicators So far no wide adoption of a learning outcome internationally FTI made first start All children should read with enough fluency and comprehension to read to learn by end Grade 2 USAID likely to copy Countries considering Donors funding larger and more serious RCTs and other improvement efforts At scale Support to countries that want to go national (beyond pilots, beyond regions)

30 RTI International 29 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

31 RTI International 30 Ongoing debates (just a few of them!) Fluency: proxy or instructional strategy? Does the basic displace the more complex, or does it aid it? See Finland curricular example: basics AND complex. Hold the pencil right but also Analyze the text. See clickable Finnish curriculum Setting goals for fluency Use correct words per minute? If not, how Do we need numerical fluency measure? Goal-setting, yes; teachers, no??? What is useful? Scripting lessons versus freedom: how compromise? How to get politicians to make it a goal to go national

32 RTI International 31 Outline 1. Motivation programmatic/bureaucratic Pedagogical 2. History/process 3. Assessment tools; results 4. Improvement efforts; results 5. Bureaucratic interest, global indicators 6. Ongoing debates Do basic skills preclude or potentiate the more complex ones? Uses and abuses of assessment and improvement 7. Proposed discussion: Where does India (Pratham, others) fit in this context?

33 RTI International 32 EducationMaternal Health Target Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio Indicators Net enrolment ratio in primary education Maternal mortality ratio Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel Literacy rate of year-olds Goals: Education: coverage; Health: results Indicators: Education mostly coverage again: ?, Health: coverage How silly is the ed sector? Health has an actual outcome as a target, and access is only an indicator.

34 RTI International 33 EducationInfant Health Target Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate Indicators Net enrolment ratio in primary education Under-five mortality rate Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5 Infant mortality rate Literacy rate of year-olds Proportion of 1 year-old children immunized against measles Same with infant mortality: target is an outcome, coverage only an indicator

35 RTI International 34 Some examples of how much better-focused the health sector is, in some donor statements. Not just USAID, also CIDA (just to pick an example)


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