Improve learning

There is a large and growing body of evidence on what strategies have the potential to improve the quality of education. This collection of issue briefs provides an overview of recent research on planning and policy options to improve learning outcomes.


Teacher education and learning outcomes

This brief examines the impact of teacher education on the quality of education. It provides suggestions of how educational planners and decision makers can improve the effectiveness of initial teacher education programmes and continuing professional development (CPD) to improve teaching quality.

School and learning readiness

The Education 2030 Framework for Action defines school readiness as ‘the achievement of developmental milestones across a range of domains, including adequate health and nutritional status, and age-appropriate language, cognitive, social and emotional development’ (UNESCO, 2016: 39). SDG Target 4.2...

Parental support to learning

This brief examines the role of parents in supporting their children’s learning in school and how planners and decision-makers can support this role. A related brief looks at issues of school and learning readiness.

Socioeconomic inequalities and learning

Social and economic inequalities have important and long-lasting effects on children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development as well as on educational outcomes (Grantham-McGregor et al., 2007; Shonkoff and Garner, 2012). Multiple inequities combine, producing a negative impact on the ability of...

The physical school environment

The brief explores how physical education facilities – that is, land, buildings, and furniture for education – can affect learning processes and what measures can be undertaken to create the optimal conditions for learners and teachers’ achievement and well-being.

The psychosocial school environment

This brief examines the impact of the psychosocial school environment on student learning outcomes. It provides suggestions of how educational planners and decision-makers can ensure a positive learning environment for all.

Disability inclusive education and learning

Inscribed in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948), education is a basic right. A range of declarations and conventions highlight the importance of education for people with disabilities: the Salamanca Statement on education and special needs in 1994, as well as article 24 of the United...

Language of instruction

There are more than 7,000 known living languages and most children grow up in an environment where more than one is spoken (Wisbey, 2017). However, studies show that almost 40 per cent of children do not have access to an education in a language they understand and this is negatively affecting their...

Learning and teaching materials

The central role of textbooks and other learning and teaching materials (LTM) in enhancing the quality of learning and improving student performance is widely recognized (Smart and Jagannathan, 2018; GEM Report, 2016b). In low-income countries, quality LTM can compensate for disabling factors such...