TFET Research

In 2012, the IDP Foundation, Inc. and Sesame Workshop launched the Techniques for Effective Teaching (TFET) training program in Ghana to provide teachers participating in the IDP Rising Schools Program with the necessary skills to create a child-friendly environment that makes learning fun.

Over the years of rolling out the TFET program, we have incorporated feedback from the participants through classroom observations, focus group discussions, and evaluations conducted by independent researchers. Details on the various research reports IDPF has commissioned appear below.

NCRIBE Evaluation Report June 2013

NCRIBE Evaluation Report June 2013

After one year of implementing the TFET program, IDPF commissioned an initial evaluation from The National Centre for Research into Basic Education (NCRIBE). NCRIBE is an institute within the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, and focuses on being a center for research excellence for educational development in Africa.

The NCRIBE Evaluation Report utilized focus group interviews for data collection. It assessed the effectiveness of the TFET program materials and teacher training and looked at the teachers’ attitudes and behaviors towards the techniques taught as part of the program.

A few of the key findings from the NCRIBE Evaluation Report are:

  • The program appears to have positively impacted the teaching skills of the participants.

  • More than 90% of participants describe the TFET modules as “useful” or “important.”

  • Participants reported applying their trainings in the classrooms in different ways.

TFET Impact Assessment

Once the TFET program was expanded in 2018, IDPF commissioned a more comprehensive external evaluation of the program from NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis.

This impact assessment will be completed through pupil assessments and interviews, teacher and head teacher interviews, attendance records, and a school inventory to understand how the program affects the teachers and students in 80 IDPRSP schools. The assessment will be completed in four stages. See below for the Baseline Report.

NORC Impact Assessment: Baseline Report December 2018

NORC Impact Assessment: Baseline Report December 2018

The baseline report sought to understand existing classroom practices as well as students’ and teachers’ classroom attitudes at 80 low-fee private schools prior to participating in the TFET program.

Some key findings from the baseline report are:

  • Classroom practices during this period did not encourage students to explore or solve problems independently.

  • Pupil and teacher absenteeism was high.

  • The female students and teachers had more gender-equitable attitudes than their male counterparts.

NORC Impact Assessment: Midline I Report June 2019

NORC Impact Assessment: Midline I Report June 2019

This report evaluated the emerging impact of Sesame’s Techniques for Effective Teaching (TFET) program on teachers’ understandings, perceptions, and application of new pedagogic techniques. Classroom observations were carried out in three schools, two of which were part of the TFET program and one that had received no training.

Some key findings from the Midline I report were:

  • The dominant classroom discourse style entails chorusing, chanting, repetition, and recitation.

  • There are some indications of surface-level and partial program uptake, especially in the use of LEGOs, display of materials, and activities that make the classroom fun and interactive.

  • Participants positively view the training as practical and hands-on.

  • Challenges to adopting pupil-centered literacy techniques include a lack of 1) textual resources (e.g. storybooks, Big Books, etc.) and 2) teachers’ knowledge of teaching reading.

  • Differentiation, teaching with low-cost resources, and positive discipline are the most frequently positively cited modules - reported as practical, useful, and empowering.

  • Proprietors report a lack of teacher education and dominance of traditional teaching approaches impede the use of new pupil-centered techniques.

NORC Impact Assessment: Midline II Report December 2019

NORC Impact Assessment: Midline II Report December 2019

The Midline II classroom observation study forms part of an on-going impact evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the Techniques for Effective Teaching (TFET) program in Ghana, a partnership between Sesame Workshop and IDP Foundation. For this Midline II report, trained fieldworkers conducted 32 classroom observations in nine treatment schools with nine Master and nine Step-down TFET trained teachers and seven control schools with 14 teachers who had not received TFET training.

Some key findings from the Midline II report were:

  • Classroom learning environments of treatment teachers were relatively more pupil-centered, especially in the display of learning materials, variety of learners’ seating/grouping arrangements, and positive styles of classroom management.

  • When particular concepts are relayed clearly from one context to another (e.g. from materials to training), it is more likely teachers will be prepared to apply these in their instruction.

  • Differences in training quality may explain why some variation emerged in this study between Master and Step-down teachers, especially in the use of literacy techniques.

  • Changing or shifting teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, especially teachers who are formally untrained, requires on-going, in-depth engagement with the principles of how children learn.

  • Due to the clarity, emphasis, and accessibility of particular program content (especially Modules 2, 3, and 4), treatment teachers were seen to display some of the organizational and regulatory elements of pupil-centered teaching.

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