Especially in low and middle income countries, many education systems are confronted with a learning crisis whereby students in school are not acquiring the fundamental skills they need to learn. Although better teaching practices are key to improve student learning, most education systems in low-and middle-income countries, including Catholic school networks, do not regularly monitor teacher practices in such a way that advice can be provided on how to improve pedagogy in the classroom.
This page provides information on Teach, a free tool made available by the World Bank for classroom observation. Teach can be used for system diagnostic as well as for professional development. As a system diagnostic, Teach allows school networks (public or private) to monitor the effectiveness of their policies to improve teacher practices. As a professional development tool, Teach can be used to help teachers improve how they teach.
Research indicates that teaching is the most important school-based determinant of student learning. The difference between the impact a weak and great teacher on student test scores can be equivalent to one to two years of schooling. Observation tools can help improve pedagogy in the classroom, whether at the individual or system-wide.
The World Bank's Teach observation tool is freely available for anybody who would like to use it. The current version of the tool is intended for use in primary schools (grades 1-6). Other versions are under preparation for early childhood education and for secondary schools. The World Bank is also currently developing another tool, Coach, which will help principals and coaches use the information from Teach to provide targeted feedback on how teachers can improve their classroom practices. Below a short description of what Teach measures is provided. If you might be interested inm using Teach in Catholic schools, don't hesitate to contact us.
What Does Teach Measure?
Teach differs from other classroom observation tools in that it captures (i) the time teachers spend on learning and the extent to which students are on task, and (ii) the quality of teaching practices that help develop students’ socioemotional and cognitive skills. As part of the Time on Task component, 3 snapshots of 1–10 seconds are used to record both the teacher’s actions and the number of students who are on task throughout the observation. The Quality of Teaching Practices component, on the other hand, is organized into 3 primary areas as shown below: Classroom Culture, Instruction, and Socioemotional Skills. These areas have 9 corresponding elements that point to 28 behaviors. The behaviors are characterized as low, medium, or high, based on the evidence collected during the observation. These behavior scores are translated into a 5-point scale that quantifies teaching practices as captured in a series of two, 15-minute lesson observations.
For more information on Teach, please go the the tool's webpage.