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Teacher-training to transform classrooms, teachers and communities in Uganda

Last registered on December 29, 2017


Trial Information

General Information

Teacher-training to transform classrooms, teachers and communities in Uganda
Initial registration date
December 29, 2017

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 29, 2017, 9:37 PM EST

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


Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Department of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science
PI Affiliation
Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Ensuring quality teaching is a challenge around the world, and one which financial incentives have not been able to solve. This RCT tests the value of a fundamental pedagogical transformation in improving the quality of teaching and, thereby, parental demand for schooling. Kimanya-Ngeyo (KN), a Ugandan NGO, trains teachers by reorienting their attitudes towards the role of knowledge in society -- teachers learn how theory and practice can be combined to apply knowledge towards the transformation of local communities. We are partnering with KN to study the effects of this program on student learning, teacher motivation and performance, and local cultural change in upper primary and secondary schools. We hypothesize that the teacher-training program enables teachers to not only impact student learning outcomes but to also become in KN's words "promoters of community well-being" by connecting classroom materials to community needs, making education locally relevant. This may additionally allow teachers to connect with a deeper purpose connected to intrinsic sources of motivations.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Ashraf, Nava, Abhijit Banerjee and Vesall Nourani. 2017. "Teacher-training to transform classrooms, teachers and communities in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. December 29.
Former Citation
Ashraf, Nava, Abhijit Banerjee and Vesall Nourani. 2017. "Teacher-training to transform classrooms, teachers and communities in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. December 29.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Kimanya Ng'eyo (KN), a Ugandan NGO founded in 2007, implements a teacher-training program using the Preparation for Social Action (PSA) program. PSA's materials were developed in Colombia as part of an NGO, the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences, and adapted for the African context. KN collaborates with district education officials to invite schools to select 2-3 teachers to participate in their training program. The training is one year long and combines two-week periods of full-time programming with KN tutors with in-service periods. During the full-time trainings, held during term breaks, teachers move together through a sequence of texts and engage in practical exercises that help link the readings with everyday reality. During the in-service periods, PSA tutors randomly visit classrooms to observe how teachers are engaging with students and reflect with them on outcomes.

The PSA materials prepare teachers to integrate the study of scientific knowledge with social action in local communities. PSA develops capabilities in four broad areas: language, mathematics, science, and processes of community life. While topical facts are given attention, the courses seek primarily to build several general capabilities of scientific inquiry through group activity. These include the capacity to describe the world around oneself with precision and clarity, to identify data for testing theories, and to combine insights from theory with praxis. The format of the training targets teachers' attitudes in three novel ways. First, discussion exercises that explicitly demonstrate how scientific concepts can be used to solve local problems help teachers to design useful community projects for their students to undertake. Second, as teachers engage one another in an open seminar environment during the training, they learn to appreciate the value of a non-authoritative classroom and how to teach in a participant-centred way. Third, collective reflection exercises help participants organize insights from their teaching experiences, improving communication among teachers.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Teacher Motivation, Student Learning Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Pedagogical shifts, Student Motivation, Student Aspirations, Parental Demand for Education
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Each year starting in 2017 and ending in 2020, the program will roll out to primary schools in one new subcounty in Jinja District. This will result in a total of three subcounties by 2020. Each time that a new subcounty is added, we will select 34 schools in the subcounty to participate in the experiment. Each school will nominate 2-8 teachers for training. After nomination, we will randomly assign 17 schools to treatment and 17 schools to control. Then, treatment schools will have the opportunity to actually send teachers to the yearly trainings. Treatment schools will continue to send 2-3 teachers per year to training until the end of 2020.

Outcome measures will be collected yearly from each treatment and control school using the following four techniques:
-Teacher survey
-Classroom observations
-School administrative data
-Community member survey
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is done in office by a computer using pairwise matching on school characteristics.
Randomization Unit
Randomization is at the school level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
104 Schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
416 Teachers; 10,400 Pupils
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
52 Schools in Control
52 Schools in Treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Teacher Attendance: 1.4 days per month, 8.5%, 0.27 SD; How often teachers have conversations with parents: 2.7 Conversations per month, 25%, 0.34 SD; Student standardized exam scores: 0.33 SD

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The Mildmay Uganda Research and Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials