Does Sending Teachers Abroad Enhance Their Quality and Ability?

Author Name NISHIHATA Masaya (Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting) / TAHARA Hidenori (Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting / Hitotsubashi University) / KOBAYASHI Yohei (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. July 2023 23-E-055
Research Project Implementing Evidence-Based Policy Making in Japan
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It is widely acknowledged that teacher quality is one of the crucial factors in improving student achievement. However, empirically validated strategies for improving the quality of existing teachers are not necessarily apparent. We investigate the effect of the Japanese education policy which sends teachers abroad to overseas educational institutions on teacher quality and ability. We find that, on average, dispatched teachers report 0.2 and 0.4–0.6 standard deviation improvements in their self-assessed curriculum management skills and cross-cultural understanding, respectively, over a decade, compared to their non-dispatched counterparts. Notably, less experienced teachers are more likely to improve self-assessed curriculum management skills, whereas more experienced teachers tend to become confident in their school administration skills. Interestingly, dispatched teachers feel more confident about their cross-cultural understanding regardless of their years of experience. Overall, sending teachers abroad is an effective strategy to develop their skills, which are increasingly important as globalization progresses.