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Mimate Preschool Mathematics in Peru 2012
Last registered on March 29, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Mimate Preschool Mathematics in Peru 2012
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002800
Initial registration date
March 27, 2018
Last updated
March 29, 2018 6:31 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Universidad Catolica de Chile
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2012-03-20
End date
2012-12-14
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Tailoring instruction to each student’s needs can produce significant learning gains. However, few programs have successfully implemented this approach. In this paper, we present the results of a randomized evaluation of a program that uses inquiry with an individualized scaffolding approach to teach Mathematics to preschoolers in Peru. Our results suggest that the program improves overall Mathematics outcomes, and that it has stronger impacts on students in the lower quintiles of the Mathematics outcomes distribution and on students whose teachers have university degrees. The effect on the content areas where the program was implemented more intensively persists even one year after the program ended. We find no evidence of differential effects by gender, language-spoken at home, and proxies for SES, in contrast with results from previous research that suggest Mathematics programs are biased along gender and socioeconomic lines.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Gallego, Fransisco and Emma Naslund-Hadley. 2018. "Mimate Preschool Mathematics in Peru 2012." AEA RCT Registry. March 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2800-1.0.
Former Citation
Gallego, Fransisco, Emma Naslund-Hadley and Emma Naslund-Hadley. 2018. "Mimate Preschool Mathematics in Peru 2012." AEA RCT Registry. March 29. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2800/history/27367.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The salient characteristic of Mimate is the use of inquiry and program-based learning with scaffolding techniques. Inquiry-based learning, or co-operative learning as Vygotsky (1978) called it, is based on the idea that social interaction is essential for learning. Inquiry-based learning tends to rely heavily on scaffolding to guide learners through complex tasks and keep the student engaged in what Vygotsky (1978) described as the “zone of proximal development,” the range of concepts between what learners can do on their own and what can be achieved in collaboration with instructors or peers (Ellis and Worthington, 1994). The Mimate program is delivered in 45-minute sessions so it can fit smoothly into the daily schedule of Peruvian preschools, and includes a workbook, formative assessments, and visits from teacher assistants to ensure the quality of teacher-student interactions.
Intervention Start Date
2012-03-28
Intervention End Date
2012-12-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
To measure the development of mathematics skills, we applied preschool-adapted versions of the “Early Grade Mathematical Assessment” (EGMA) originally developed by the Research Triangle Institute International. The tests measure various abilities related to mathematics with the following exercises: Comparing quantity, basic shape recognition, advanced shape recognition, basic object counting, advanced object counting, number selection, advanced number selection, fine motor skills, symmetry, shape sequence, number sequence (clock), number sequence (calendar), additive composition, geometric shapes, and addition and subtraction word problems.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Increased early mathematics skills in preschoolers.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Early literacy skills, were measured through a preschool version of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A randomized controlled trial employing randomization at the school level forms the basis of the study design. We randomly selected 53 treatment schools and 54 control schools. The treatment group would adopt the Mimate program in their preschool classrooms, while the control group would not receive the intervention and continue using traditional pedagogical practices (as we discussed above, generally this means teaching practices based on frontal instruction and on memorization and repetition) . The randomization considers the existence of six strata that come from the combination of the school location (urban/rural) and the city in which the school is located. Baseline data were collected in March 2012. A first follow-up was collected at the end of the school year in December 2012 and a second follow-up in December 2013, one year after the treatment was completed and when the students were at the end of their first grade of primary education. In total, 2,400 children participated in the baseline and short-term data collections, while 2,416 participated in the baseline and medium-term data collections.
Experimental Design Details
The general format of the data collection processes was very similar, consisting of the application of student tests in the baseline and two follow-ups and the application of parent and teacher surveys in the baseline and first follow-up. To measure the development of mathematics skills, we applied preschool-adapted versions of the “Early Grade Mathematical Assessment” (EGMA) originally developed by the Research Triangle Institute International. The tests measure various abilities related to mathematics with the following exercises: Comparing quantity, basic shape recognition, advanced shape recognition, basic object counting, advanced object counting, number selection, advanced number selection, fine motor skills, symmetry, shape sequence, number sequence (clock), number sequence (calendar), additive composition, geometric shapes, and addition and subtraction word problems. In our analysis we look at results of the items included in EGMA at three different levels of aggregation: (i) an overall index that includes all the items in EGMA, (ii) two indices by curricular area, one for items related to numerical abilities and the other for items related to shapes, and (iii) measures of the development of each ability included in EGMA. In addition to mathematics tests, we also applied instruments to assess the development of non-mathematics outcomes: the Raven test of general cognitive ability and a test of early literacy skills test . The questionnaires applied to teachers and parents collected information about the child’s classroom and home experience. We use the information from these surveys for two purposes. First, to study treatment heterogeneous effects (such as classroom size, access to educational materials, teacher’s education, mother’s education, dominant language at home, etc.). Second, the information from these surveys allow us to understand the mechanisms through which the program may have affected learning outcomes. In addition, to help with the interpretation of the results, we collected process information about actual program implementation in all treatment schools. Lastly, between the months of October and December of 2012 we also visited 44 randomly selected schools (37 treatment and 7 control schools) to collect measures of classroom infrastructure, and to observe teacher-student interactions and student-student interactions. Mathematics classes were videotaped and analyzed using the CLASS (Class Assessment Scoring System) rubric, which codes teaching practices in three areas: emotional support (i.e., generating a respectful environment and listening to children), classroom organization (i.e., managing time and keeping control of students), and teaching support (i.e., developing concepts thoughtfully and reinforcing student learning).
Randomization Method
The randomization was done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The empirical framework for the main analyses uses observations on children who attended 107 schools that were randomly assigned to the treatment and control groups.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Yes 107 schools.
Sample size: planned number of observations
In total, 2,400 children participated in the baseline and short-term data collections, while 2,416 participated in the baseline and medium-term data collections.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We randomly selected 53 treatment schools and 54 control schools.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDE: 0.268; Power: 0.80; intra-cluster correlation: 0.305
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Innovation Poverty Action IRB-USA
IRB Approval Date
2012-02-03
IRB Approval Number
IRB Protocol #: 12February-003
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 07, 2012, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 14, 2012, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
107 schools.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
In total, 2,400 children participated in the baseline and short-term data collections, while 2,416 participated in the baseline and medium-term data collections.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
We randomly selected 53 treatment schools and 54 control schools.
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

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Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS