Measures of effective teaching in developing countries

Author(s): Bruns, Barbara; De Gregorio, Soledad; Taut, Sandy

Date: 2016

Pages: 37 p.


There is growing interest in observing teachers’ classroom practice, for formative feedback to teachers, teacher performance evaluation and incentives, program impact evaluation, and research on the determinants of student learning. For observations to generate meaningful data, they must be carried out using valid instruments, standardized protocols, and trained observers. A number of different observation instruments have been used in the US, but only two have gained any traction to date in developing countries – the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, CLASS, and the Stallings classroom observation instrument. Although both have been validated in developing countries in connection with student learning outcomes, they have never been used in the same setting. This paper exploits an ongoing research program that used the CLASS instrument to assess 7th grade mathematics classrooms in Chile. In this research the authors re-code the same teacher videos using the Stallings instrument. They generate the first global evidence on the comparability and validity of the dimensions of teacher practice they measure. Because CLASS is significantly more expensive and complex to use – its training materials are proprietary and observers require a high degree of skill – there is a policy and research interest in analyzing the degree to which the simpler, open‐source, Stallings instrument produces similar results.

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