Early Childhood Teacher Development using an On-site Training Approach in Rural Thailand

Last registered on October 17, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Early Childhood Teacher Development using an On-site Training Approach in Rural Thailand
Initial registration date
October 10, 2022

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
October 17, 2022, 3:50 PM EDT

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


Primary Investigator

Research Institute for Policy Evaluation and Design

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This project aims to imporove quality of early childhood education in rural Thailand. This intervention is bulit on a success of an earlier intervention (Chujan and Kilenthong, 2021), which tried to encourage early childhood teachers in rural Thailand to adopt a new way of teaching, based on HighScope Perry Preschool curriculum.

The main intervention in the current project is an intensive, two-week long, on-site training for early childhood teachers, who is currently teaching in government childcare centers. This training is organized in the real classroom setting where real children are attending regularly. The training will be carried out at the training center in Kalasin province while all the particiapting childcare centers are located in another Ubonrachathani province.

The randomization unit is sub-district, the smallest governmental adiministration unit in Thailand. There are 52 sub-districts participated in the project innitially. Some subdistrict may operate more than one child care centers, one of whcih (the largest one) will be chosen to participate in the study. We randomly selected 52 sub-districts into the control (26) and treatment group (26). The total number of children at the baseline was

Research questions include: (i) can the on-site training improve teaching quality, (ii) can the new teaching method improve child skills, and (iii) does the impact of the program (if there is) vary across subgroups of sample based on children, househeold and teacher characteristics.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Kilenthong, Weerachart. 2022. "Early Childhood Teacher Development using an On-site Training Approach in Rural Thailand." AEA RCT Registry. October 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7133-1.0
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Experimental Details


The main intervention in the current project is an on-site training, which aims to equip teachers with the new teaching approach, based primarily on the HighScope Perry Preschool curriculum (adopted to the Thai context by the research team). The on-site training is an intensive training, two weeks long, organized at a training center in Kalasin province. This is a pratical-based training. Each trainee will apply the new method learned during the training with young students at the training center everyday.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Child development measuring by DENVER II and Picture Memory test: this part is also a direct assessment. It is similar to digit span memory and is taken from the Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), both of which will be assessed at both baseline and endline surveys.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Social-emotional skills based on Strengths and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ) collected at the endline only
2. Teaching quality
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This experiment has only one treatment, an on-site teacher training in real classrooms. This training has been designed and operated by the Reducing Inequality through Early Childhood Education (RIECE) program, which aims to improve early childhood education in rural Thailand. The main objective of the training is to enable the trainees to implement a HighScope-based curriculum, called RIECE curriculum, in their classrooms. The trainees/teachers would have to learn and practice with real students in early childhood classrooms of a childcare center in Kalasin province, which is one of training centers of the RIECE program. It is worthy of emphasis that this training is different from a usual on-the-job training, which is usually performed in the trainee's classroom, in that it is staged at a training center when the class is in session. Main reason for having the training at a training center instead of the trainee's classroom is that teachers, especially from rural Thailand, tend to imitate what they have seen and experienced during the training rather than capture key principles and learn how to apply them in their own classrooms. That is also a reason for why a training center must have a sufficiently high quality.

This is an intensive and hands-on training, which is for two weeks (10 school days). The main task for the first three days is to observe all classroom activities and student behaviors. The rest is for trainees to practice implementing all key activities and producing learning materials. In addition, there will be a review session every afternoon, where the trainees and their supervisors will reflect and discuss on how well each trainee has performed each activities during the day. This session also introduces relevant theoretical concepts and discuss their connection with daily experiences of the trainees. See online appendix for a summary of training schedule. Note that the intensiveness of the training limits the training capacity. As a result, treated teachers will be trained in three separate groups at different points in time.

This experiment is implemented in Ubon Ratchathani province, located in the northeastren part of Thailand. The research team recruited sub-districts to participate in the srudy by collaborating with Ubon Ratchathani provincial health office, which has been instrumental in promoting child development in the area. There were 56 chilcare centers initially particiapting in the study but 4 of them declined the baseline survey. Therefore, the final number of participating centers is 52 centers.

We then form a pair of childcare centers based on the location. This is to comply with the request from the provincial health office in that each district (consisting of several sub-districts) should have at least one childcare center in the treatment group. Another reason is to control for local factors that may contribute to child development. In the end, there are 26 centers in the control and 26 in the treatment.

Most of the centers have two levels of classes, one for 2 to 3 years old, and the other for 3 to 4 years old. This experiment focuses on the older classroom, the one for 3 to 4 years old. Given the limited capacity of the on-site training, we first invited teachers who taught the older class to the training first. Consequently, the majority of the sample, therefore, are students in the older classrooms except for some centers where the number of older students are too few.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
childcare centers
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
52 chilcare centers.
Sample size: planned number of observations
853 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
26 chilcare centers
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
This calculation has been completed before the bseline survey. We therefore assume that each center should have roughly 20 students. We also assume that intra-correlation coefficeint is 0.07 and control variables would lead to R-square of 0.15. The targeted significance level is 0.05. We expect the effect size of about 0.30 SD. The power calculation (using the OD program) suggested that there should be at least 20 centers in the control and 20 in the treatment.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerece
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Analysis Plan for Early Childhood Teacher Development using an On-site Training Approach in Rural Thailand

MD5: 3df96afeb653e8381e31bc3c470f15cb

SHA1: fd1449f7ec76dee7993827bd09fbb6bbe25e1861

Uploaded At: October 10, 2022


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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials