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Research report

Managing teachers: the centrality of teacher management to quality education. Lessons from developing countries

Chikondi Mpokosa, Susy Ndaruhutse, Carole McBride, Stephen Nock and Jonathan Penson

This report offers a rich menu of examples from different countries of good practice in teacher management and support.

This report gathers together learning from primary research undertaken by Edcucation Development Trust (formerly CfBT Education Trust) and VSO in thirteen developing countries and from other available national level research and international synthesis reports concerning the human resource aspects of quality education and in particular the role of teachers.

For the quality of teaching and learning to be improved the report argues that:

  • the role of headteachers is crucial for improving teacher management and teacher motivation and ultimately for improving learning outcomes for girls and boys. The introduction of management training for school leaders would reap countless rewards, and should be prioritised
  • management of education has many dimensions, but the biggest investment of funds and human resources has always been and should always be in teachers. With 18 million new teachers needed by 2015, it is vital that governments and donors prioritise teacher management
  • the quality of teacher training dictates the quality of teaching. Moves to reduce the length and quality of pre-service teacher training to cut costs and meet the demand for 18 million new teachers by 2015, are damaging the quality of teaching and learning. When teachers are not adequately trained, children are denied their right to a quality education
  • gender and inclusion should be addressed in teacher management and training systems: to ensure that there are a representative number of positive role models for girls, boys, children with disabilities and those from other excluded groups; so that teachers enjoy equal pay and conditions; and so that girls and so called ‘hard to reach’ children have a better chance of improved learning outcomes.