Orientare alla Scelta

Last registered on October 21, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Orientare alla Scelta
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007696
Initial registration date
October 19, 2021
Last updated
October 21, 2021, 9:19 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Milan Bicocca
PI Affiliation
Catholic University of Milan

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-09-19
End date
2023-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
A conscious educational choice requires to be accompanied by an effective school guidance, a key factor for the success of students' educational paths and for the effectiveness and equity of the entire school system.
Teachers may significantly influence the school choices of students and their families, but previous research showed that their advice may be biased and could contribute to the reproduction of educational inequalities (more precsierly the ones' due to students' social originis, migratory background and gender).
I Italy a guidance advice is provide by teachers to all students at the end of lower secondary school.
In this experiment, we provide to teachers' the opportunity to attend a professional development course focused on school guidance and providing them both awareness about related social inequalities and tips regarding how to reduce their potential biases.
The intervention is delivered though a dedicated web platform, where each teacher can follow a light touch training, lasting about 5 hours and delivered before their formulation of guidance advices in s.y. 2021/22.
The project involves 189 lower secondary scools in Italy (self-selected into the project): Each school enrolled teachers wotking with oth grade strudents and the ones in charge of guidance at the organizational level.
We randomize the schools participating in the project: 98 schools are assigned to the first shift in the school year 2021/22; the other 91 schools are temporarily assigned to the condition of control group and their accesso to the training is postponed to the school year 2022/23.
At the end beginning of school year 2022/23, we will be able to assess the impact of our proferssional development on the primary outcome, namely the net association (meaning after controlling for students' performance) between students' social background (parental education and social class, mirgatory condition and gender) and the advice provided them by their teachers.
In addition, we will be able to follow up students along thier education career in the next school years, to assess whethere the advice will be followed and with which results in tems of education performance.
Before the intervention, to all the enrolled teachers we administered a questionnaire, collecting information and engagint them in a simulation case of guidance advice formulation. We hope to be able to collect the follow up questionnaire both on treatment and control group teachers, in order to assess the intervention impacts also at teachers level.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Argentin, Gianluca, Gianpaolo Barbetta and Elisa Manzella. 2021. "Orientare alla Scelta." AEA RCT Registry. October 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7696-1.0
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We provide to lower secondarys school teachers' the opportunity to attend a professional development course focused on school guidance and providing them both awareness about related social inequalities and tips regarding how to reduce their potential biases.
The intervention is delivered though a dedicated web platform, where each teacher can follow a light touch training, lasting about 5 hours and delivered before their formulation of guidance advices in s.y. 2021/22.
Before the intervention, to all the enrolled teachers we administered a questionnaire, collecting information and engagint them in a simulation case of guidance advice formulation. We hope to be able to collect the follow up questionnaire both on treatment and control group teachers, in order to assess the intervention impacts at teachers level.
Intervention Start Date
2021-10-21
Intervention End Date
2021-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
At students level (end of s.y. 2021/22): we aspect that students assigned to treated teachers will display a school guidance advice less strongly associated to their social background (parental education and social class), migratory condition and gender, after controlling for students' performance.
At students level (s.y. 2022/23 - beginning and end): we aspect that students assigned to treated teachers will enrol to school tracks with a lower associaton to their social background (parental education and social class), mirgatory condition and gender, after controlling for students' performance.
At teachers level (end of s.y. 2021/22 - assuming to have a fair take up rate of our questionnaire among treatment and control group at teachers level, hence being able to estimate related impacts): we expect teachers in treatment group to display lower level of bias in formulating their advice to students in a vignette study.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Both the association between students social origins/gender/migratory background and school guidance advice (s.y. 2021/22)/track attended (2022/23) will be estimated through regression models controlling for students' performance. We aim to find a significat reduction of the previously named associations (all signalling the reproduction of education inequalities) among students belonging to the classes where their teachers are treated.


Before the intervention, to all the enrolled teachers we administered a questionnaire, collecting information and engaging them in a vignette study focus on the guidance advice formulation. We hope to be able to collect the follow up questionnaire both on treatment and control group teachers, in order to assess the intervention impact at teachers level, namely dectectng a reduction of theri bias as detected in the vignette study (once compared to control group teachers).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
At techers' level: we expect treated teachers displaying higher self-efficacy related to their ability to formulate a correct advice and higher perception of being adequately informed about the upper seconday school offer in their region.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Teachers self-efficacy related to formulating a correct advice: ad hoc scale based on 11 items.
Teachers perception of being adequately informed about the upper secondary school offer: ad hoc scale based on 7 items.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The project involves 189 lower secondary scools in Italy (self-selected into the project): Each school enrolled teachers working with 8th grade strudents and the ones in charge of guidance at the organizational level.
We randomize the schools participating in the project: 98 schools are assigned to the first shift in the school year 2021/22; the other 91 schools are temporarily assigned to the condition of control group and their accesso to the training is postponed to the school year 2022/23.
The randomization was blocked on macro-region, urban size, school size (total of 12 blocks).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done by a computer (Stata, random function) and was implemented by an external researcher (Giovanni Abbiati).
Randomization Unit
Schools are the randomized clusters.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
189 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
about 19,000 students about 1,300 teachers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
98 schools assigned to the treatment
91 schools assigned to the delayed treatment (control group in s.y. 2021/22)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We did not compute the effect size, being it a net association in a regression model. More precisely we aim to reduce the net association between students characteristics on one side (namely, social origins, migratory background and gender) and their educational outcomes on the other side (namely, the advice received in the school guidance and their following school schoice). In addition, our estimates will rely on partial compliance among the treatment group. All considered, we cannot rely on adequate information to run in advance a properly precise power calculation.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Collegio Docenti del Dottorato in Sociology, Organization, Culture
IRB Approval Date
2021-05-26
IRB Approval Number
N/A