Differentiated teaching, in which students are taught according to their actual levels of understanding and provided with tailored learning paths, is key to ensuring learning. However, the initial distribution of students’ foundational skills in a classroom is often very high. Even highly experienced, skilled, and motivated teachers will find applying differential teaching to the whole distribution of abilities challenging. For the average teachers, attempting to do so would cause them to spend virtually all their time teaching only foundational skills. They would have no time to teach higher-order thinking skills.
Technology can help address this constraint. Recent evidence shows that personalized technology-aided instruction yields absolutely large learning gains for all students, with relatively greater gains for academically weaker students. More importantly, such instruction can cover the whole distribution of students’ initial skills. With technology’s help to develop their students’ foundational skills, teachers can have time to help students develop their higher-order thinking skills.
The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (MoECRT), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Tanoto Foundation, has engaged an educational technology (edtech) company and education research organizations as consultants for designing and contextualizing high-touch high-tech (HTHT) interventions since 2021. The interventions mainly consist of two components: (i) developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based software and training for teachers on its use (high tech) and (ii) developing a teacher training program on pedagogical approaches to foster students’ higher-order thinking skills (high touch). Prior to this assignment, these HTHT interventions will be tested with actual students and teachers at selected schools so that they will be ready for a large-scale implementation at selected public schools for a whole school year. A study will also be conducted to evaluate the impact of these interventions on students’ achievement.
The scope of work of this consultancy includes:
- development of a pool of skilled trainers,
- teacher training,
- provision of continuous support for teachers and schools,
- project management and administration, and
- dissemination events.