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In November 2016, the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) reached a milestone 10 years since it was first developed as a tool to measure and report on student…
In November 2016, the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) reached a milestone 10 years since it was first developed as a tool to measure and report on student acquisition of foundational literacy skills, particularly in low and middle income countries. Since then, a number of observations have been raised with respect to the appropriateness of the tool for diverse contexts, the process of instrument adaptation, data collection logistics and their potential to affect the quality of the results, and the utility of the assessment in leading to literacy improvement. These issues are not often discussed in formal reports and published articles. In this commentary, the authors address these observations by reviewing the theoretical underpinnings and purpose of the EGRA, providing guidance on key aspects of EGRA design and implementation, and sharing their experience using EGRA in northern Nigeria for multiple data collections. This chapter is based on the direct involvement of the authors in several EGRA exercises conducted in Nigeria, from instrument conception to administration to results analysis.
For over a decade, the early grade reading assessment (EGRA) has been used to measure and report on students’ acquisition of five reading skills. Education development…
For over a decade, the early grade reading assessment (EGRA) has been used to measure and report on students’ acquisition of five reading skills. Education development initiatives funded by the US Agency for International Development, the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), and other agencies have facilitated the use and adaptation of the EGRA into over 100 languages in more than 65 countries (Dubeck & Gove, 2015, p. 315). Guidelines for the proper use and the limitations of the EGRA have been circulated widely. An international evidence base that challenges the theoretical underpinnings and the expanded use of the EGRA is also growing (Bartlett, Dowd, & Jonason, 2015). Not yet explored to date, however, is the use of the EGRA as a measure to determine Payment by Results (PbR) in a donor agency initiative. This chapter examines the use of the EGRA oral reading fluency (ORF) subtest as a PbR learning outcomes measure in DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) projects, and it concludes that the way in which the EGRA ORF was used for PbR was a misuse of the EGRA, and ultimately it did not serve well the PbR project beneficiaries, the marginalized girls.
Over the past 20 years, the primary focus of education policy and programming in low- and middle-income country contexts has shifted from access to quality. There has also…
Over the past 20 years, the primary focus of education policy and programming in low- and middle-income country contexts has shifted from access to quality. There has also been a laudable increase in the amount of available research about education quality in low- and middle-income countries, and a growing emphasis placed on incorporating research- and evidence-based activities and approaches into donor-funded education programs, particularly for early grade reading. Reviews of early grade reading (EGR) programs and their level of impact, however, particularly when programs are implemented at large scale, may leave some practitioners, policy makers, and donors dismayed. Effect sizes and impacts of the programs are often positive, but the absolute gains in reading performance are not as dramatic as we would like, despite the implementation of evidence-based approaches.
In education policy and implementation literature, the decoupling of policy and implementation, and the messiness involved in putting research into practice in education, are well documented. In this chapter, the authors propose the idea of “satisficing,” as it has been defined in policy and implementation literature, as a useful lens for considering the apparent decoupling of actual impacts and anticipated outcomes for programs that have adopted research- and evidence-based approaches. Using examples from EGR programs in African and Asian contexts, the authors argue that “satisficing” occurs at multiple levels, including the classroom, school, district, and even the program implementation (i.e., contractor or grantee) levels. The authors also argue that this lens has important implications for education program design and research.
In the more than quarter century since commitments were made under Education for All, low- and middle-income countries have made considerable progress in ensuring that…
In the more than quarter century since commitments were made under Education for All, low- and middle-income countries have made considerable progress in ensuring that more students are enrolled in and completing primary schooling. However, despite lofty promises to improve literacy and numeracy for all, UNESCO estimates that more than 250 million children are not learning the basics. Currently, a limited number of practitioners and policy makers have access to information on how well students are learning to read and perform basic math. As access to technology and globalization continues to expand, we expect increased demand for and democratization of information on student learning, particularly in the Global South.
This chapter describes the influence of reading assessments at the child level on the focus on quality education in low-resourced contexts. Over the past decade, child-level assessment data have contributed to modifications in classroom instruction, teacher support, community engagement, and language policy. These data have led to the refinement of additional child-level and classroom-based assessments to inform and reflect context. Ultimately, the initial questions about child-level learning have facilitated successive improvements in understanding and bettering the results. This chapter suggests a prospective direction that the international education community should take to continue improving child outcomes.
The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of Literacy Boost Project Model implemented by World Vision on reading skills of early grade students in Ethiopia. It…
The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of Literacy Boost Project Model implemented by World Vision on reading skills of early grade students in Ethiopia. It intended to examine whether the intervention contributed to improving students’ achievement in reading comprehension.
Difference in difference with propensity score matching impact estimation model was used in the study. Baseline and end line data collected by World Vision Ethiopia in four districts in Oromia region, where the project had been operational, were used for the research. A total of 1,418 students (685 control and 733 intervention) were selected using random sampling technique and assessed based on the core reading skill components.
The result of the analysis indicated significant improvement in the core reading skills of treated students. The ultimate outcome of reading comprehension skill from the previous evaluation was found inflated. Variables related to the home literacy environment and community activities were found significantly impacting the students reading achievement.
Policies and strategies intended to improve the quality of education, particularly the reading skills of early grade students, in the study area and scaling up the literacy boost project to areas with similar context, thus should give due attention to the variables related to the home literacy environment and community activities.
This study is important in providing valuable information on early grade education quality improvement interventions, especially to development practitioners and policymakers to make informed decisions regarding education sector reform and development in the study area.
In this chapter, we discuss initiatives that aim to improve children’s literacy in low- and middle-income (LMI) countries through m-learning. These projects, predominantly…
In this chapter, we discuss initiatives that aim to improve children’s literacy in low- and middle-income (LMI) countries through m-learning. These projects, predominantly introduced by governments and international aid organisations, often involve the provision of e-books and apps including game-based apps, to be used either inside or outside school. In some cases, lesson plans and content for teachers in poorly resourced schools are also delivered via mobile devices. After a general overview, we briefly describe a selection of projects with reference to m-learning and literacy theory and research. It is indicated in this chapter that the use of mobile devices to improve literacy opportunities for children in LMI countries has a great deal of potential but that, in many cases, there are limitations in pedagogical design and implementation practices, not to mention restricted views of what literacy is and might be for children in these locations.