Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Results from a Randomized Intervention
Last registered on March 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Results from a Randomized Intervention
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003957
Initial registration date
March 08, 2019
Last updated
March 08, 2019 4:01 PM EST
Location(s)

This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Essex
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Essex
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-09-14
End date
2020-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We evaluate a large-scale randomized educational intervention that aims to cultivate and stimulate curiosity in the classroom environment. The study is motivated by the evidence on the importance of curiosity as a fundamental driver of academic achievement. The intervention involves intensive teacher training, which has two components:
1. Curricular component: An interdisciplinary team of teachers, education consultants and pedagogy specialists designed a curriculum to be delivered by students’ own trained teachers. The curriculum contains visual and reading materials that emphasize the importance of having an inquisitive and open mind and the benefits of asking questions.

2. Pedagogical Component: Teachers receive various pedagogical (and practical) tips to practice inquiry-based learning and to create an inquisitive classroom culture.
Teachers are given 5 months to implement the proposed pedagogy supported by the activities prescribed in the curriculum. The trial involves 77 schools in the province of Mersin, Turkey, and targets the 4th and 5th-grade students.
The intervention will be evaluated with respect to experimental as well as achievement outcomes.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Alan, Sule and Ipek Mumcu. 2019. "Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Results from a Randomized Intervention." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3957/history/42856
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention involves intensive teacher training, which has two components:
1) Curricular component: Teachers were introduced a specifically designed curriculum to be implemented in classrooms within the 2018-2019 academic year. The curriculum was designed by an interdisciplinary team of teachers, education consultants, and pedagogy specialists. It contains visual and reading materials that emphasize the importance of having an inquisitive and open mind and the benefits of asking questions.
2) Pedagogical Component: Teachers receive various pedagogical (and practical) tips to practice inquiry-based learning and to create an inquisitive classroom culture.
A total of 85 teachers from 40 schools were invited to participate in seminars in November 2018. Teachers are given 5 months to implement the proposed pedagogy supported by the activities prescribed in the curriculum. All teachers who were assigned to treatment received the curriculum materials. The endline data collection is scheduled for April-May 2019.
Intervention Start Date
2018-11-15
Intervention End Date
2019-04-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Choices and performances in a novel behavioral task
Objective test scores
Official end-of-year grades
Educational aspirations (study majors)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Choices and performances in a novel behavioral task: There will be 4 outcomes constructed using this task. These are i) interest in science, ii) desire to acquire knowledge, iii) knowledge retention, vi) transmission of knowledge within a network

Details of these constructions are given in our pre-analysis plan.

Test scores: We will conduct math, verbal and science tests in the class. The research team will prepare these tests based on the national curriculum of the relevant grade level. Performances in these tests will constitute our objective measures of math, verbal and science performances.
Grades: These will be end-of-year official grades. These grades are given by teachers based on students’ performances on exams, homework, and participation.

Educational aspirations: We will elicit students’ aspirations for study majors at the university.

Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1) Perseverance
2) Self-confidence
3) Risk aversion and ambiguity aversion
4) Survey reports of curiosity

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
1. Perseverance. We will measure this using on a number of item set questions.
2. Self-confidence. For this, we will utilize our math, verbal and science tests. Specifically, we will ask students the number of questions they think they answered correctly for each test after the test is finished. The difference between the student's response and his/her actual performance constitute our self-confidence measure.
3. Risk aversion and ambiguity aversion. These will be measured via incentivized tasks.
4. Survey reports of curiosity. We will measure this using on a number of item set questions.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study is a clustered randomized controlled trial where the unit of randomization is school. There are 160 teachers from 77 schools recruited for the study. 50 of these schools are primary and 27 are post-primary. We assigned 40 schools to treatment (14 post-primary, 26 primary) and 37 schools to control (13 post-primary, 24 primary). We stratified randomization on grade level (post-primary/primary) and district within the province of Mersin.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in office by a computer using Stata
Randomization Unit
School
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
77 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
The sample includes a total of 5892 officially registered students (baseline).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
40 schools are assigned to treatment and 37 schools to control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Attached as a separate document
Supporting Documents and Materials

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Essex Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2018-09-14
IRB Approval Number
IRB00000522
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information