25,000 leaders from the worlds of Business, Government, the UN, and Civil Society are convening this week — virtually, because of the global Covid pandemic — to mark 20 years of a worldwide commitment to social impact. They are all part of the largest initiative there has ever been to drive social good — the UN Global Compact.

Every organisation forming part of the UN Global Compact works to further its goals of making the world a better, fairer place.

That includes NewGlobe, as a learning leader supporting the education of nearly one million children a day across Africa.


When a body of academic literature points to an effective new approach to generate meaningful learning gains for pupils, practitioners take notice. But this may not be the complete story. Timothy Sullivan, Director of Learning Innovation at education provider NewGlobe, shares insights from recent randomised evaluations of SMS outreach to parents and discusses how surprising null results may hint at a broader issue of publication bias.

Can an SMS Really Generate Learning Gains?

In recent years, a compelling case has emerged for the use of SMS to provide parents with information about pupil performance or returns to education. But could publication bias (which arises when studies with…

As a philosophy and social movement, effective altruism has gained traction among philanthropists over the past decade. The aims of this strand of thought are self-explanatory: to engage in altruistic actions (to ‘do good’) in the most effective manner possible. To determine how one goes about doing this, three questions arise:

1. What does it mean to ‘do good’?

Philosophers have long pondered the meaning of altruism, with disagreements over its nature and authenticity. My aim here is not to delve into the complexities of this epistemological debate, but rather to tap into commonly-accepted notions of doing ‘good’. One such…

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

If you ask a teacher virtually anywhere in the world to describe their go to structure for a 40 minute lesson, many will say that they begin with a few minutes of review.

But is that actually a good idea?

In Barak Rosenshine’s guide to research based strategies all teachers should know, strategies #1 and #10 suggest that a week’s worth of instruction for a single subject should look like this:

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

In Barak Rosenshine’s guide to research based strategies all teachers should know, strategies #1 and #10 suggest that a week’s worth of instruction for a single subject should look like this:

Teaching is the most important job in the world. The quality of any nation’s education cannot exceed the quality of its educators.

“Collectively, we need to tackle the learning crisis for the one in two children being failed as they never even learn the basics”

Each teacher has the opportunity to shape and impact tens of thousands of young lives over the course of their career. It is not unusual to hear someone reflect on a favourite teacher from their school days or to ascribe their success in life to the advice or guidance given by a teacher.


It’s 2:00 pm on Friday afternoon at Mokola Academy in Alimosho, Lagos, Nigeria. Bridge pupils and teachers have been giving 110% all week, making huge strides in reading, maths and science. A peek through a classroom window provides a glimpse of a quiet room with children intently focused on classwork. Teachers circulate, checking pupils work, marking answers and giving in-the-moment feedback as they move around the classroom.

Energy is dwindling — but suddenly, two loud claps ring out. “Eyes on me!” echoes throughout the academy and suddenly there is a mass rustling of textbooks closing, pencils clattering on desks and…

Government teacher Prince, from Liberia on the difference that receiving proper training and support has made to his teaching.

Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world, but often teachers working where they are most needed have little help, training or support. In many low and middle-income countries teachers are left isolated and unsupported in remote communities where they are responsible for overcrowded classrooms.

Often they have few teaching resources and may struggle to understand the content they teach. Despite this they are expected to improve learning outcomes and lay the foundation for the prosperity of both their communities and countries. …

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

Children benefit most when academics have a genuine synergy with front line teachers and practitioners. It takes a unique combination of learning science and the art of human interactions to maximise learning. I have recognised the need for this collaboration for many years, but only recently have I been able to witness its true effect on teacher and learning.

When I began my career as a teacher, I was quickly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task ahead of me. After studying education for four years, I thought I had learned everything that I needed to know in order to…

Imagine a classroom of 45 students in Liberia. A teacher spends 5 minutes demonstrating 37 + 24 on the blackboard. She then leads students through a 10 minute guided practice of a similar problem, 44 + 19. Finally, students launch into a 25-minute independent practice solving problems aligned to today’s goal. All students work hard, 15 students answer most questions correctly, 15 students do okay, and 15 students answer most questions incorrectly. The teacher circulates while they work in order to give feedback to as many students as possible before the lesson ends.

Most pedagogical experts would recognise this as…


Talking Education is a Medium Publication all about progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education for All.

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