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Through the looking glass: Can classroom observation and coaching improve teacher performance in Brazil?

Barbara Bruns, Leandro Costa, Nina Cunha


We conducted a randomized evaluation of a program in Brazil that provided secondary schools with classroom
observation feedback and access to expert coaching. Coaching content was based on Teach Like A Champion, by
Douglas Lemov, which imparts practical strategies to increase teachers’ effectiveness by maximizing time on
instruction and student engagement. In treatment schools, the program raised the skills of pedagogical coordinators tasked with supporting teachers to improve instruction, increased teachers’ time on instruction, raised
student engagement and produced statistically significant student learning gains. Program schools performed
0.05–0.09 SD higher in 10th grade math and Portuguese on a state test and 0.06 SD higher in Portuguese on a
national high school leaving test (12th grade). High quality coaching delivered to the coordinators via Skype
kept costs at $2.40 per student, making the program a cost-effective and promising strategy for school-based
efforts to raise teachers’ classroom effectiveness.
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