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Does Teacher Training Actually Work? Evidence from a Large-Scale Randomized Evaluation of a National Teacher Training Program

Prashant Loyalka, Anna Popova, Guirong Li and Zhaolei Shi

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2019, vol. 11, issue 3, 128-54

Abstract: Despite massive investments in teacher professional development (PD) programs in developing countries, there is little evidence on their effectiveness. We present results of a large-scale, randomized evaluation of a national PD program in China in which teachers were randomized to receive PD; PD plus follow-up; PD plus evaluation of the command of PD content; or no PD. Precise estimates indicate PD and associated interventions failed to improve teacher and student outcomes after one year. A detailed analysis of the causal chain shows teachers find PD content to be overly theoretical, and PD delivery too rote and passive, to be useful.

JEL-codes: I21 I28 J24 J45 O15 P36 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20170226
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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics is currently edited by Alexandre Mas

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