Mathematica Study Highlights Educate!’s Innovative Approaches to Enhancing Teacher Quality at Scale


A new study from Mathematica Policy Research examined Educate!’s innovative approaches for enhancing teacher quality at scale.

The study, which looked at organizations supported by the multi-donor Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), distilled learnings from the experiences of eight organizations implementing in-service teacher training programs. The findings offer practical lessons about how to design, implement, and scale efforts to train, motivate, and support teachers.

This rigorous study affirms the importance of both building a cost-effective, streamlined model that is highly scalable and ensuring that teachers receive the time and support they need to acquire new teaching skills. Below are excerpts from the study which highlight Educate!’s most important lessons learned for enhancing teacher quality at scale.

1. Build and maintain close government partnerships to amplify impact

In Rwanda, Educate! partners with the Rwandan government in the implementation of the country’s new competence-based curriculum reform (which we also acted as a technical advisor on) through in-school support and teacher training. As a result, we have worked hand-in-hand with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education to identify key opportunities to improve teacher quality, test creative solutions, and develop positive interventions that strengthen teachers’ pedagogical skills. Core to our success in Rwanda has been our close partnership with the Rwandan government:

For example, Educate! and the Rwanda Education Board did field research to compare and contrast the curriculum delivery of an old syllabus versus a new competence-based curriculum syllabus to jointly identify “what was effective and not effective in practice and thereby make the case for new approaches more closely aligned with realities in the field” (p. 24).

2. Rigorous evaluation and robust evidence should be a critical part of projects considering scale

Measurable impact is core to our mission, and we designed our Rwanda program with the goal of generating a body of evidence for how to effectively work with governments to impact schools, teachers, and youth at scale:

3.  Simple and straightforward program models are more easily scaled

Our Rwanda model was designed to be fully integrated with the Rwandan government and the Rwandan national education system. As such, we developed a low-cost model that is reaching teachers and youth within existing secondary schools. Further, our “build-practice-present”, or Skills Lab pedagogical structure is simple to learn and remember, and requires no technology or additional resources.

We are proud to be contributing to the global dialogue on best practices for enhancing teacher quality at scale, and hope our work in Rwanda will continue to add to this conversation. Read Mathematica’s full-length study here.