Teaching and Learning

Our approach to teaching and learning improvement across the curriculum promotes equitable and universal access to quality education, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, physical or cognitive barriers. We provide teachers and school administrators with tools and teaching strategies that make this possible, and advise governments on creating an environment where all children can succeed. Where appropriate, we apply the use of innovative and cost-effective information and communication technologies (ICT) to support teaching and learning, assessment, information management, and social mobilization.

Reading

Towards our goal of ensuring that children learn to read in the first two years of schooling, we introduce proven methods and tools that encourage all education stakeholders to focus on reading as a critical enabler for success across the curriculum. We help governments develop evidence-based early reading curricula and introduce reading materials that support skills development as well as cultivate a love of reading. Teachers are given explicit guidance and ongoing coaching for applying new resources and methods in the classroom. Through social mobilization activities, we help parents and communities understand their critical role in children's reading development.

  • In Liberia, we worked with the government to assess students' reading performance, inform communities of the results, train teachers on how to continually assess student performance, and provide frequent school-based teaching support. As noted in final program success stories, in just 1.5 years, children in these schools tripled the gains made in oral reading fluency and comprehension compared to a control group receiving no intervention. 
  • In Egypt, we worked closely with the Ministry of Education to develop and introduce an Arabic language reading assessment and instruction program. The instruction program provided training, classroom routines, and teaching aides designed to enhance students' recognition of Arabic letter sounds and unlock their ability to read words. As noted in the results report, after one year of intervention, students nearly doubled their oral reading fluency. More importantly, this program has been adopted and expanded by the government and has been certified by the Professional Academy of Teachers, which grants participating teachers recognition and resources within the Egyptian teacher salary scale. 

We also work to improve students' reading skills in Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda.

Math

Alongside reading, mathematics is an important foundational skill, recognized as both an essential skill for daily life, as well as the cornerstone for developing capacities in science, technology, and problem-solving. RTI has pioneered the development of the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA), a groundbreaking instrument for assessing the most fundamental math skills among students in the first three grades. We also help governments to develop curricula as well as teacher and student instructional materials that will enable teachers to develop both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency in their students. As in reading, teachers are given explicit guidance and ongoing coaching for applying new math resources and methods in the classroom.

  • In Liberia, we worked with the Ministry of Education to develop an instructional scope and sequence which corresponds to the local curriculum, and on which a series of lesson plans, teachers' guides, and student materials is being developed. Teachers receive initial training and ongoing support to aid them in changing their approaches to mathematics teaching.
  • In Kenya, we are working closely with the Ministry of Education to develop a series of lesson plans, teachers' guides, and student materials that will support improved mathematics instruction in grades 1 and 2. Training and coaching are carried out in close collaboration with the ministry, and undertaken through the existing education system, so that the ministry will be fully capable and ready to continue supporting improved mathematics instruction after the end of the project.

More Information

  • EdData II
  • Tangerine — Tangerine™ is an electronic data collection application for EGRA, EGMA and related questionnaires.
Spotlight

Jennifer Durbin, Carmen Strigel named Triangle Business Journal 2014 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards winners

Triangle Business Journal recognized Jennifer Durbin, information security officer at RTI International, and Carmen Strigel, team leader for Information and Communication Technology for Education Training at RTI, as 2014 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards winners.

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