Working Paper


Using Learning Profiles to Inform Education Priorities: An Editors’ Overview of the Special Issue


Image of Luis Crouch

Luis Crouch

RISE Directorate

RTI International (Emeritus)

Image of Michelle Kaffenberger

Michelle Kaffenberger

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Image of Laura Savage

Laura Savage

UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

This special issue explores the use of learning profiles for analysing the dynamics of low learning in low-and middle-income countries and informing priorities to address the learning crisis. The 12 papers in the special issue draw on learning data from more than 50 countries and 6 million individuals, with implications for education policy and practice. Taken together, they point to a need to steepen learning trajectories by prioritizing early mastery of foundational skills for all children. The papers show that addressing the learning crisis will not be achieved through more school grade attainment alone, nor through within-country equality across groups (such as girls and boys or rich and poor). Positive examples show that programs focused on foundational learning both improved average learning and reduced inequality. Addressing the learning crisis will require a focus on systems improvement, using foundational learning as a case in point for making the needed systems improvements to steepen learning throughout children’s time in school. Learning profiles can provide a guide for education actors aiming to improve learning outcomes.


Please access and cite the journal version of this paper:

Crouch, L., Kaffenberger, M. and Savage, L. 2021. Using Learning Profiles to Inform Education Priorities: An Editors’ Overview of the Special Issue. International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 86, 2021, 102477, ISSN 0738-0593,