Literacy for Life (News and Research 262)

Literacy for Life | Грамотность для жизни | Что такое функциональная грамотность и как ей можно научить | What is functional literacy and how can it be taught | Distance learning has raised many questions, one of the most important among them: how did the change in the educational environment affect functional literacy? Experts debate whether the remote gave a new chance to develop versatile skills or made the situation worse. But we agree that the future depends on how much attention will be paid to the development of functional literacy not only of children, but also of teachers… “Tigran Shmis explains that the list of inputs on which the World Bank builds research on 21st century skills is based on three factors: the quality of teaching, the quality of the educational environment, and the attitude of students to learning. “The most important factor remains the teacher and his or her approaches, however when teachers use modern learning styles, the importance of technology factors and comfortable furniture, that is, the educational environment, also increases.” According to TIMSS 2019 Students who learn from teachers that use modern learning styles (group work, team teaching) perform significantly better. The difference reaches 20-30 points, which is approximately one year of study.”

Comprehensive Private Schooling for Low-Income Children: Experimental Case-Study Evidence from Mexico | We use first-grade lottery-based admissions to estimate impacts and cost-effectiveness of a subsidized comprehensive private school for low-income children in Mexico City, part of a philanthropic organization supporting and operating similar schools worldwide. Relative to students who did not win the lottery, CHM lottery winners gain additional 0.18 SD in literacy and 0.09 SD in numeracy over the first three years of elementary school. Parents of lottery winners are more likely to report children’s school is academically demanding, rate the school higher and have greater expectations of children’s college completion. Achievement gains come at an increased cost relative to counterfactual public schools of $1000/pupil-year, which suggests low cost-effectiveness. Higher cost is explained by greater array of services and few economies of scale. Despite the high per student cost, this robust case study suggests philanthropic private schools have great potential to improve achievement amongst the region’s most vulnerable students and reduce longstanding learning and opportunity gaps.

Making up for a year of lost learning in the Kyrgyz Republic | For students of all ages in the Kyrgyz Republic, September 15 was an important day. It marked the start of the new school year, two weeks later than usual, after a full academic year online.  For a country with a strong emphasis on education and near-universal enrollment rates in primary and lower-secondary schools, the decision to return to in-person learning impacted around 1.8 million students, their parents, and teachers. Delaying the start by two weeks allowed more time for teachers and personnel to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations prior to reopening.

Uzbekistan can halve poverty by creating more and better jobs | On September 29-30, 2021, Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, will visit Tashkent to attend the Uzbekistan Economic Forum, a high-level conference organized by the Government of Uzbekistan.

Presented during the United Nations’ General Assembly meetings, the new policy approach paper, Steering Tertiary Education: Toward Resilient Systems that Deliver for All , reinforces the imperative that every country invest thoughtfully and strategically in diversified, well-articulated, and inclusive tertiary education systems.  It examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global tertiary education sector and identifies policies that can promote a resilient recovery.

Investigating the Use of Assessment Data by Primary School Teachers: Insights from a Large-scale Survey in Ireland | Evidence suggests that the quality of teachers’ instructional practices can be improved when these are informed by relevant assessment data. Drawing on a sample of 1,300 primary school teachers in Ireland, this study examined the extent to which teachers use standardized test results for instructional purposes as well as the role of several factors in predicting this use. Specifically, the study analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey that gathered information about teachers’ use of, experiences with, and attitudes toward assessment data from standardized tests. After taking other teacher and school characteristics into consideration, the analysis revealed that teachers with more positive attitudes toward standardized tests and those who were often engaged in some form of professional development on standardized testing tended to use assessment data to inform their teaching more frequently. Based on the findings, policy and practice implications are discussed.

Learning Recovery after COVID-19 In Europe and Central Asia: Policy and Practice | Now officially on the World Bank’s Open Knowledge Repository.

The COVID-19 Cost of School Closures in Earnings and Income across the World

HLO (Harmonized Learning Outcomes) | Angrist, N., S. Djankov, P.K. Goldberg and H.A. Patrinos. 2021. Measuring Human Capital using Global Learning DataNature 592: 403-408 | Summary in VoxEU | Data

Learning Loss During COVID-19: An Early Systematic Review