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Inquiry-based teaching methodology training sessions for primary school teachers: impacts on teaching practices and student outcomes

Last registered on December 23, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Inquiry-based teaching methodology training sessions for primary school teachers: impacts on teaching practices and student outcomes
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001864
Initial registration date
December 23, 2016

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 23, 2016, 5:33 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Paris School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Toulouse
PI Affiliation
University of Montpellier
PI Affiliation
Mannheim University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2014-07-01
End date
2018-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Interest towards science and technology has been declining in the past twenty years and inquiry-based teaching might be a good way to reinforce science interest at the earliest age. The literature on the inquiry-based education is large but it is mostly based on small scale trials or on very specific cases (summer schools…). We use a randomized experiment to investigate the impacts of a large scale inquiry-based training program in three regions of France delivered to primary school teachers, on teaching practices and student outcomes. Among voluntary teachers, the treatment group receives an 80 hours training program over two years, while the control group receives very little or no training. We estimate impacts on multiple outcomes: teaching practices and student’s knowledge, reasoning skills and interest and motivation toward science and technology.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2016. "Inquiry-based teaching methodology training sessions for primary school teachers: impacts on teaching practices and student outcomes." AEA RCT Registry. December 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1864
Former Citation
, et al. 2016. "Inquiry-based teaching methodology training sessions for primary school teachers: impacts on teaching practices and student outcomes." AEA RCT Registry. December 23. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1864/history/12804
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention aims at changing teaching practices in science thanks to an inquiry-based training which relies on discussion, exploration and experimentation. With this pedagogical method, students are deeply involved in the problem resolution, sometimes defined by the students themselves. The intervention consists in a training of 80 hours spread over two years for teachers of grade 3 to 6. The training is provided by Science centers in teachers' regional school district in France. During this two years of training teachers can practice, investigate, meet scientists and visit labs. Moreover teachers are supported by the trainers through visits in class regular exchanges on their class practices.
Intervention Start Date
2014-09-01
Intervention End Date
2017-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Teachers outcomes: Teachers’ science skills and vision; Teachers’ practices.
Students outcomes: Students’ science skills ; Students’ interest toward science and technology.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We first ask for volunteer teachers in three regional school districts in France in Spring. The teachers register online and fill in a small baseline questionnaire. Then random allocation at the teacher level is stratified using teachers’ regional school districts, school status (priority education or no), gender, experience and degree. Selected teachers enter training in Fall next year, for two academic years (non-compliance is possible).
Measures are run during two years, at beginning and end of the second year of training; and at beginning and end of the first year after training is completed. Teachers and students answer questionnaires in class.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Random allocation at the teacher level is stratified using teachers’ regional school districts, school status (priority education or no), gender, experience and degree. Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Treatment unit is the teacher. (When we measure outcomes on students, students are then clustered at the teacher level.)
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
134
Sample size: planned number of observations
134 teachers and 3171 students of treated teachers. For descriptive purposes, non-volunteer teachers from the same schools as volunteer teachers and their students are also surveyed (about 2000 students).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
72 teachers in treatment group and 62 teachers in control group. Students proportionally.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
About 12% of a SD (effect size) on students; twice as much on teachers.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris
IRB Approval Date
2016-02-12
IRB Approval Number
IN/2015-009

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials