Can training for principals improve student learning? Experimental evidence from Argentina
Last registered on February 07, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Can training for principals improve student learning? Experimental evidence from Argentina
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005361
Initial registration date
February 06, 2020
Last updated
February 07, 2020 1:38 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
New York University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
New York University
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2017-11-01
End date
2019-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This paper presents one of the first evaluations of a principal-training program in a developing country. We randomly assigned 100 public primary schools in the Province of Salta, Argentina to a treatment group in which school principals attended a six-week, intensive, training workshop provided by an international foundation, or to a business-as-usual control group.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Freel, Samuel and Alejandro Ganimian. 2020. "Can training for principals improve student learning? Experimental evidence from Argentina." AEA RCT Registry. February 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5361-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The Leadership and Innovation Program (LIP) is an intensive, six-week course to provide school principals with training on leadership, innovation, communication, and technology. It was developed by the Varkey Foundation (VF), a United Kingdom education nonprofit with offices in Argentina, Dubai, Ghana, and Uganda best known for its Global Teaching Prize. To date, LIP has reached 6,544 principals and teachers across 3,591 schools in the Provinces of Corrientes, Jujuy, Mendoza, and Salta in Argentina. The VF aims to reach 15,000 principals.

To participate, principals have to: (a) be tenured public officials (i.e., they cannot be interim or substitute principals); (b) not be close to the age of retirement; (c) not be the only teacher at their school; and (d) be able to take six weeks off regular duties to participate full-time. Principals may send a vice-principal on their behalf, and they may also invite a teacher.

The training course consists of six modules, each with four to seven sessions, including: (a) “educational leadership for organizational development and school reform” (i.e., how to build and empower teams); (b) “managing technology integration” (i.e., how to plan, manage, and sustain information technology systems); (c) “leading and managing learning, creativity, and curriculum innovation” (i.e., how to manage curriculum development); (d) “educational leadership for quality assurance and to improve performance in the teaching and learning process” (i.e., how to hold teachers accountable for effective instruction); (e) “leading teacher professional development” (i.e., how to identify strengths and areas for improvement); and (f) “leading and developing community relations” (i.e., how to develop links between the school and its surrounding community). In each module, participants complete readings, attend presentations, and engage in activities (e.g., developing a diagnostic of their school). Training facilitators assess participants at the end of each module and offer formative feedback. Participants are also expected to propose a “school innovation project” to improve their school.
Intervention Start Date
2018-08-01
Intervention End Date
2018-12-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
principal-reported school-management practices, student-reported well-being, and student achievement on the national student assessment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We randomly assigned the 100 sampled schools to one of two experimental groups, stratifying our randomization by geographic location and school category to maximize statistical power. First, we grouped schools into six strata based on these two variables. Then, we randomly assigned schools within each stratum to: (a) a “treatment” group, whose principals were invited to participate in the program in 2018; and (b) a “control” group, whose principals were offered the opportunity to participate in the program in 2019, after our study. This process resulted in 52 treatment and 48 control schools.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
School
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
~100 observations at the principal/vice-principal/teacher level (there are 100 schools and up to two participants per school) ~5,000 students across participating schools
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
52 treatment schools and 48 control schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
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 and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers