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Active citizenship program in middle school
Last registered on August 30, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Active citizenship program in middle school
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004610
Initial registration date
August 22, 2019
Last updated
August 30, 2019 10:18 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Region
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Paris School of Economics
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Athens
PI Affiliation
UEX
PI Affiliation
UAM
PI Affiliation
LSE
PI Affiliation
UCM
PI Affiliation
LSE
PI Affiliation
LSE
PI Affiliation
PSE
PI Affiliation
UAH
PI Affiliation
PSE
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-06-01
End date
2020-02-29
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The goal of the study is to examine the effects of the Active citizenship (ACT) program on students’ civic skills, democratic engagement and tolerance as well as on teachers’ teaching practices and beliefs about citizenship education. The program, which primarily consists in providing teachers with a 2-days training and with continuous guidance over the school year to help them implement a citizenship project in their classroom, is implemented in England, France, Greece and Spain.

The two-day training session is provided by specific trainers recruited by the Public Authority in each country. It aims at exploring the nature and the objective of the ACT program and to promote active learning through the implementation of student-centered teaching practices. It also aims at informing teachers about the stages of the program and the methodology to be followed in each stage, with emphasis on citizenship projects’ implementation in the classroom, which is asking teachers to modify the traditional teacher-student relationship so that students have the opportunity to exercise autonomy as fellow citizens. Eventually, the training also aims at promoting the implementation of innovative assessment methods (self and peer evaluation).

An important aspect of the ACT program is continued guidance for participating teachers throughout the project implementation period. Teachers who participated in the training continue to receive support, feedback and guidance throughout the project implementation period via a mentoring program that is organized with the same trainers responsible for the face-to-face training at the beginning of the school year.

Participating classes in treated schools implement citizenship projects over the course of the school year, from roughly October through April (this period varies across countries). Students work in small groups to design a citizenship project proposal that they present to the class for a vote. Once the class has voted for the project they wish to implement, the teacher works with the class to co-construct an action plan for project implementation. Working in randomly-assigned small groups, students share responsibility for the implementation of their chosen citizenship project and the realization of its activities.

An ACT citizenship project is an activity or set of activities (events, services, campaigns…) organized around at least one of the ACT themes (fighting discrimination, social inclusion, cultural diversity) and designed to benefit a specific group of people, either at school or in the community. It has a well-defined objective (to raise awareness, to inspire change, to promote dialogue, to bring people together…) around which these activities are organized. It also has a target audience (other classes in the same grade, classes from lower grades, another school, community groups, the whole community) at which the activity or activities will be directed. Above all, an ACT citizenship project is led by students and guided by the teacher.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Briole, Simon et al. 2019. "Active citizenship program in middle school." AEA RCT Registry. August 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4610-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The program primarily consists in providing teachers with a 2-days training and with continuous guidance over the school year to help them implement a citizenship project in their classroom.

The two-day training session is provided by specific trainers recruited by the Public Authority in each country. It aims at exploring the nature and the objective of the ACT program and to promote active learning through the implementation of student-centered teaching practices. It also aims at informing teachers about the stages of the program and the methodology to be followed in each stage, with emphasis on citizenship projects’ implementation in the classroom, which is asking teachers to modify the traditional teacher-student relationship so that students have the opportunity to exercise autonomy as fellow citizens. Eventually, the training also aims at promoting the implementation of innovative assessment methods (self and peer evaluation).

An important aspect of the ACT program is continued guidance for participating teachers throughout the project implementation period. Teachers who participated in the training continue to receive support, feedback and guidance throughout the project implementation period via a mentoring program that is organized with the same trainers responsible for the face-to-face training at the beginning of the school year.

Participating classes in treated schools implement citizenship projects over the course of the school year, from roughly October through April (this period varies across countries). Students work in small groups to design a citizenship project proposal that they present to the class for a vote. Once the class has voted for the project they wish to implement, the teacher works with the class to co-construct an action plan for project implementation. Working in randomly-assigned small groups, students share responsibility for the implementation of their chosen citizenship project and the realization of its activities.

An ACT citizenship project is an activity or set of activities (events, services, campaigns…) organized around at least one of the ACT themes (fighting discrimination, social inclusion, cultural diversity) and designed to benefit a specific group of people, either at school or in the community. It has a well-defined objective (to raise awareness, to inspire change, to promote dialogue, to bring people together…) around which these activities are organized. It also has a target audience (other classes in the same grade, classes from lower grades, another school, community groups, the whole community) at which the activity or activities will be directed. Above all, an ACT citizenship project is led by students and guided by the teacher.
Intervention Start Date
2018-09-01
Intervention End Date
2019-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Student civic attitudes
Student democratic engagement
Student social interactions quality
Student school behaviour and academic performance
Student disruption and active participation
Teachers’ pedagogy and perception of citizenship education
School climate and the importance of student opinions as regards school functioning
Friendship ties
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Except for behaviour and academic performance, outcomes are measured using student and teacher questionaires, and student playing economics games. Concepts are measured using scales that aggregate individual items.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
First, national educational authorities aimed to identify a set of approximately 100 schools in each country to participate in the ACT program (on a voluntary basis). For practical reasons, the recruitment process was limited to a subsample of educational regions in most countries. Nevertheless, there was no eligibility criterion for schools, so that volunteer schools were identified in the whole population of schools in these educational regions.

In a second step, volunteer schools had to supply evaluators with the names of the teacher(s) and students who they propose to take part in the program. This step was mandatory for schools to be actually included in the random selection.

After receiving the complete list of volunteer schools, evaluators formed strata of 2, 3 or 4 schools. These strata were formed on the basis of school location (educational region) and school characteristics such as school size, student social and immigration background or metrics of student achievement in previous years (note the precise criteria varied by country). For Greece, one additional criterion was whether the teacher taught in more than one schools or not.

The process was closely similar in the four countries, although with slight variations across countries depending on administrative information available.

In England and in France, for the case of strata with 2 or 4 schools, half of the schools were randomly selected to participate in the program at the start of the school year. In strata with 3 schools, evaluators first randomly selected strata with one school to be treated and two schools to be assigned to the control group and strata with two schools to be treated and one school to be assigned to the control group. In a second step, schools were randomly assigned a treatment status on a random basis.

In the case of Greece and Spain, all strata were made up with 2 schools, except one which was made up with 3 schools. For the case of strata with 2 schools, one school in each stratum was randomly selected to participate in the program at the start of the school year. In the strata with three schools, in Spain one school was randomly selected to participate in the program and the two others were assigned to the control group; in Greece, two were allocated to the program and one to the control group.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Schools.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
About 320 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
About 8,000 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
About 160 schools in control and 160 schools in treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Paris School of Economics IRB
IRB Approval Date
2018-08-06
IRB Approval Number
2017 020
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS