Scoping study on supporting teachers to improve teaching and learning

01 November 2023
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Credit: GPE

Extensive research has shown that teachers are the most important school-level factor influencing students’ academic achievement. Supporting teachers to improve both teaching and learning has been identified as a top priority for education policymakers in nearly all partner countries of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). As a result, the GPE Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), a joint endeavour with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), has worked to address teaching and learning since it began in 2019. Following the announcement of the KIX extension through to 2027, KIX commissioned an independent scoping study to identify key knowledge gaps and research needs related to teachers and teaching, to inform new KIX-supported research and knowledge exchange activities in GPE partner countries.

The scoping study provides an updated picture of both progress and ongoing challenges related to teachers and teaching. It notes that teachers are the lynchpin for improving education systems and learning outcomes worldwide. Effective teachers possess the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences for their students, adapted to their specific needs. Yet not all students have access to qualified or capable teachers who can provide them with the quality learning. Teachers are diverse and require support through ongoing, effective education and development, and through management that respects and supports their agency and well-being.

This paper recognizes gender equality and social inclusion, as well as education in emergencies as key cross-cutting themes for teachers, both as they relate to teachers’ own identities and to the identities of the learners they teach. It is crucial that pre-service and in-service teacher education and support is of high quality, not only responding to their unique needs but also equipping them to address intersecting barriers faced by learners. Further research is needed to understand what works and how to scale effective approaches to teacher education and professional development, especially approaches that align pre-service and in-service teacher education with curriculum and assessment and those that address the marginalised identities of both teachers and learners. Further research is also needed on the factors that support effective teacher management, such as comprehensive policies, incentives and support, including for marginalised groups.

For more information, read the full working paper: Supporting teachers to improve teaching and learning: GPE KIX scoping study working paper | GPEKIX