Science and Environment Education in Peru

Last registered on May 09, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Science and Environment Education in Peru
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002960
Initial registration date
May 05, 2018

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
May 09, 2018, 9:29 AM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Inter-American Devleopment Bank
PI Affiliation
Berkeley University
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2010-04-01
End date
2013-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In today’s knowledge-based societies, understanding basic scientific concepts and the capacity to structure and solve scientific questions is more critical than ever. Accordingly, in this paper we test an innovative methodology for teaching science and environment in public primary schools where traditional (teacher centered) teaching was replaced with student centered activities using LEGO kits. We document positive and significant improvements in standardized test scores. Such positive results are mainly concentrated within boys that were located above the median of baseline academic performance.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2018. "Science and Environment Education in Peru." AEA RCT Registry. May 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2960
Former Citation
, et al. 2018. "Science and Environment Education in Peru." AEA RCT Registry. May 09. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2960/history/29278
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The science and environment program, uses an inquiry- and problem-based pedagogical approach. Rather than teaching students to simply memorize the history of science and scientific facts (as it is traditionally done), the new approach focuses on the development of scientific thinking and an understanding of what they can do with their knowledge. The methodology builds on children’s curiosity and natural proclivity to explore the world around them. The program encompasses three modules – our environment, the human body, and our physical world – which were piloted in third grade classes within 53 treated schools in the department of Lima and evaluated via an experimental design (with 53 comparison schools that continued with the traditional teaching approach).
Intervention Start Date
2010-04-01
Intervention End Date
2012-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Student achievement in natural science. The test applied at baseline was 2nd grade level, and the endline test was 3rd grade level.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The research strategy consisted of three components. First, an experimental designed evaluation to estimate the causal impact of the new pedagogical approach on scholastic achievement of the students. Second, surveys of principals, teachers, parents and students were carried out to obtain the socio-demographic information of the schools and the students’ families. Third, a qualitative evaluation was carried out to further understand the context of the treatment and the evaluation. The experimental design covered 106 schools in the Department of Lima where the random assignment of the treatment was at the school level, that is, 53 treated and 53 non-treated schools, with a total of 2,771 third grade students in the 106 schools. The sample was stratified according to school location (urban, metropolitan, and rural). For
budgetary reasons only two classrooms per school were included. In the schools where there were more than two classes, the two classes included in the evaluation were chosen randomly in the presence of the principal.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The randomization was conducted at the school level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Originally we planned for 108 schools.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We originally estimated to include some 3,000 students. In the endline we had 2,401 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Originally we planned for 108 schools, but in the final evaluation 106 schools partook, including 53 treatment schools and 53 control schools.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The needed sample size to ensure an 80% statistical power (beta = 0.20) with a significance level (alpha) of 0.1, was calculated at design to be 108 schools (36 Treatment, 36 Control, and an additional 36 for pilot tests), a minimal detectable effect (MDE) of 0.20, and considering an intra-cluster correlation – rho - of 0.15 (consistent with the rho in other educational training programs).
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
IRB Approval Date
2010-05-07
IRB Approval Number
212-10April-002
IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
IRB Approval Date
2010-04-21
IRB Approval Number
215.10April-002

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2013, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
No
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Abstract
In today's knowledge-based societies, understanding basic scientific concepts and the capacity to structure and solve scientific questions is more critical than ever. Accordingly, in this article we test an innovative methodology for teaching science and environment in public primary schools where traditional (teacher-centred) teaching was replaced with student-centred activities using LEGO kits. We document positive and significant improvements of 0.18 standard deviations in standardised test scores. Such positive results are mainly concentrated within boys that were located above the median of baseline academic performance.
Citation
Diether W. Beuermann, Emma Naslund-Hadley, Inder J. Ruprah & Jennelle Thompson (2013) The Pedagogy of Science and Environment: Experimental Evidence from Peru, The Journal of Development Studies, 49:5, 719-736, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2012.754432

Reports & Other Materials