Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) is a holistic approach, which seeks to accelerate children’s acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

Teaching-Learning videos

Videos which show you the key elements of Pratham’s teaching-learning approach:

Teaching at the Right Level:
An overview of the TaRL approach, genesis and scale

For Grades 3-5: Combined Activities for Maximized Learning (CAMaL)

For Grades 1-2: Getting the basics right in the early years

Pratham-Government Partnerships for improving learning

Padho Jehanabad:
This is a short film telling the story of a government-led TaRL initiative in Bihar, India from 2013.

Teaching at the Right Level Documents



Pratham’s Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach was recommended as a ‘Good Buy’ in the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel (GEEAP)’s October 2020 report on Smart Buys in education for low- and middle-income countries.

Note: The report aims to inform countries’ decisions about where to allocate their budget and reform efforts, and has organized interventions based on the following tiers of cost-effectiveness: “Great buys” and “Good Buys” — programmes that are highly cost-effective, with a strong or good evidence base; “Promising but Low-Evidence” — highly cost-effective according to some small rigorous studies, but where the evidence base is more limited; “Bad Buys”— cases where strong, repeated evidence shows that these programmes have not worked in the past in many situations or are not cost-effective.

Publications and Articles

A description/case study of TaRL’s “Leaders of Practice” idea: An Intervention Improves Student Reading by Rukmini Banerji, 2014. Phi Delta Kappan.

Government systems that are used to organizing teaching-learning by age and grade can be resistant to approaches like Teaching at the Right Level: Click the link below to access the account of how these efforts played out in the state of Bihar in India.

How Do Systems Respond to Disruptive Pedagogic Innovations? The Case of Pratham in Bihar by Rukmini Banerji, 2015. RISE working paper series.

Published Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

These are longer and more academic but will give you a sense of the depth of the work at Pratham.

About the teaching-learning method: This article outlines the evolution of Pratham’s teaching-learning approach as well as the development of the implementation models over time.
Improving Literacy and Math Instruction at Scale in India’s Primary Schools: The Case of Pratham's Read India Program by Rukmini Banerji and Madhav Chavan, 2016. Journal of Educational Change.

About the evolution of the approach over time:
Learning for All: Lessons from ASER and Pratham in India on the Role of Citizens and Communities on Improving Children’s Learning by Rukmini Banerji, 2021. Published as a book chapter (no. 13) in the edited volume of Powering a Learning Society in an Age of disruption by the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects(ADB Springer).

About the evaluations/effectiveness of the model — Articles based on randomized control trials done by JPAL::
Mainstreaming an Effective Intervention. Evidence from Randomized Evaluations of “Teaching at the Right Level” in India This paper gives a quick overview and summary of the external evidence (via randomized control trials) over time.

From Proof of Concept to Scalable Policies: Challenges and Solutions, with an application. Working paper published by National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016.

Other Published Documents/Reports on TaRL

Teaching at the Right Level: From Concern with Exclusion to Challenges of Implementation. Background paper by Rukmini Banerji, Samyukta Lakshman, and Arjun Agarwal for UNESCO GEM Report 2020: Inclusion and Education.

Evidence in Practice series: Pratham’s Teaching at the Right Level. Case study. Yale School of Management.

Millions Learning: Scaling up Quality Education in Developing Countries. Brookings Institution, 2016.

Poor Economics: A Radical Re-thinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, 2011. See the Chapter on Education.

Pratham: The Challenge of Converting Schooling to Learning in India. Case Study. Michael Walton and Isabel Guerrero. Harvard Kennedy School, 2020.

History of Pratham-JPAL partnership and the evolution of TaRL

This partnership stretches over 20 years. A series of impact evaluations (randomized control trials) by JPAL has accompanied the journey of evolving TaRL. Some of these articles listed below were written when Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duo won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019.

Banerjee and Duflo’s Journey with Pratham by Rukmini Banerji, 2019. Ideas4India. English and Hindi versions are available.

A Twenty-Year Partnership of Practice and Research: The Nobel laureates and Pratham in India by Rukmini Banerji and Madhav Chavan, 2019, World Development.

Classroom to Stockholm: Glimpses of Pratham’s 20-year partnership with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Rukmini Banerji, 2019. Editorial page published in Indian Express.

Last Updated NOVEMBER 2021