Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Results from a Randomized Intervention-Replication Trial

Last registered on October 01, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Results from a Randomized Intervention-Replication Trial
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005522
Initial registration date
March 04, 2020

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
March 04, 2020, 12:01 PM EST

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

Last updated
October 01, 2020, 8:32 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
European University Institute

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Exeter

Additional Trial Information

Status
Withdrawn
Start date
2019-09-16
End date
2021-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This trial is a replication trial of AEARCTR-0003957. 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.
Teachers are given 5 months to implement the proposed pedagogy supported by the activities prescribed in the curriculum. This trial involves 52 schools in the province of Sakarya, Turkey, and targets the 4th-grade students. The objective of this trial is to i) replicate the findings of the previous trial, ii) increase the statistical power of the first trial by adding 52 more elementary schools to the evaluation sample.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Alan, Sule and Ipek Mumcu. 2020. "Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Results from a Randomized Intervention-Replication Trial." AEA RCT Registry. October 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5522
Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors

Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention involves intensive teacher training on a particular pedagogy, supported by curricular activities. A total of 60 (out of 110) teachers from 26 (out of 52 schools) were invited to participate in seminars in January 2020. Teachers are given about 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 June 2020.
Intervention Start Date
2020-01-03
Intervention End Date
2020-05-29

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 in AEARCTR-0003957.

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)
We will collect a number of secondary outcomes in the endline. These outcomes will help us understand potential channels through which treatment affects our primary outcomes. These secondary outcomes are
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 110 teachers from 52 elementary schools recruited for the study. We assigned 26 schools to treatment and 26 schools to control. We stratified randomization on district within the province of Sakarya, Turkey.
Experimental Design Details
The study is a clustered randomized controlled trial where the unit of randomization is school. There are 110 teachers from 52 elementary schools recruited for the study. We assigned 26 schools to treatment and 26 schools to control. We stratified randomization on district within the province of Sakarya, Turkey.
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
52 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
The sample includes a total of 2543 officially registered students (baseline).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
26 schools are assigned to treatment and 26 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

Documents

Document Name
Power Calculations
Document Type
other
Document Description
Attached is a table that provides power calculations.
File
Power Calculations

MD5: 79c910b17441c5815c58448e48d6a74d

SHA1: 165260110a1aa7013bc47cd67923150b7a1cf26f

Uploaded At: March 02, 2020

IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Essex Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2018-09-14
IRB Approval Number
IRB00000522

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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