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).