Teaching assistants, computers and classroom management
Many students still leave school without a good grasp of basic literacy, despite the negative implications for future educational and labour market outcomes. We evaluate how resources may be used within classrooms to reinforce the teaching of literacy. Specifically, teaching assistants are trained to deliver a tightly structured package of materials to groups of young children aged 5–6. The training is randomly allocated between and within schools. Within schools, teaching assistants are randomly assigned to receive training in either computer-aided instruction or the paper equivalent. Both interventions have a short-term impact on children's reading scores, although the effect is bigger for the paper intervention and more enduring in the subsequent year. This paper shows how teaching assistants can be used to better effect within schools, and at a low cost.