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.
Loyalka, Prashant, Anna Popova, Guirong Li, and Zhaolei Shi.
"Does Teacher Training Actually Work? Evidence from a Large-Scale Randomized Evaluation of a National Teacher Training Program."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Analysis of Education
Education: Government Policy
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Public Sector Labor Markets
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions: Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training: Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty