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Mainstreaming an Effective Intervention: Evidence from Randomized Evaluations of "Teaching at the Right Level" in India

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  • Banerjee, Abjijit

    (MIT and BREAD, Duke U)

  • Banerji, Rukmini

    (ASER Centre and Pratham)

  • Berry, James

    (Cornell University)

  • Duflo, Esther

    (MIT and BREAD, Duke U)

  • Kannan, Harini

    (J-PAL, MIT and IFMR, Sri City)

  • Mukerji, Shobhini

    (J-PAL, MIT and IFMR, Sri City)

  • Shotland, Marc

    (J-PAL, MIT)

  • Walton, Michael

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Previous randomized studies have shown that addressing children's current learning gaps, rather than following an over-ambitious uniform curriculum, can lead to significant learning gains. In this study, we evaluate a series of efforts to scale up the NGO Pratham's approach to teaching children according to their actual learning level, in four Indian States. While this approach was previously shown to be extremely effective when implemented with community volunteers outside of school, the objective of these new scale-up evaluations was to develop a model that could be implemented within the government school system. In the first two instances (Bihar and Uttarakhand), the methodology was not adopted by government schoolteachers, despite well-received training sessions and Pratham support. Motivated by the quantitative and qualitative analysis of these early attempts, we adapted the approach and designed large-scale experiments in the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to test two new scale-up models. In Haryana, teachers received support from government resource persons trained by Pratham, and implemented the approach during a dedicated hour. In Uttar Pradesh, Pratham volunteers implemented high-intensity, short-burst "learning camps" for 40 days, in school and during school hours, with additional 10-day summer camps. Both models proved effective, with gains in language of 0.15 standard deviation in Haryana, and 0.70 standard deviations in Uttar Pradesh, on all students enrolled in these schools at baseline. These two models provide blueprints that can be replicated inside other government systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerjee, Abjijit & Banerji, Rukmini & Berry, James & Duflo, Esther & Kannan, Harini & Mukerji, Shobhini & Shotland, Marc & Walton, Michael, 2016. "Mainstreaming an Effective Intervention: Evidence from Randomized Evaluations of "Teaching at the Right Level" in India," Working Paper Series rwp16-043, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp16-043
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264.
    2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Stuti Khemani, 2010. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-30, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & James Berry & Esther Duflo & Harini Kannan & Shobhini Mukerji & Marc Shotland & Michael Walton, 2017. "From Proof of Concept to Scalable Policies: Challenges and Solutions, with an Application," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 73-102, Fall.
    2. Karthik Muralidharan & Abhijeet Singh & Alejandro J. Ganimian, 2019. "Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(4), pages 1426-1460, April.
    3. Eiji Koazuka, 2018. "Enlightening Communities and Parents for Improving Student Learning Evidence from Randomized Experiment in Niger," Working Papers 166, JICA Research Institute.
    4. Chaisemartin, Clement de & Navarrete, Nicolas, 2019. "The direct and spillover effects of a mental health program for disruptive students," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 401, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. repec:eee:pubeco:v:168:y:2018:i:c:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:324-336 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Cameron, Lisa & Olivia, Susan & Shah, Manisha, 2019. "Scaling up sanitation: Evidence from an RCT in Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-16.
    8. Francisco Gallego & Emma Näslund-Hadley & Mariana Alfonso, 2017. "Tailoring Instruction to Improve Mathematics Skills in Preschools: A Randomized Evaluation," Documentos de Trabajo 487, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    9. Juan F. Castro, 2017. "Revisiting Dynamic Complementarity in the Production of Cognitive Skill and its Implications for a Cognitive Achievement Gap Decomposition," Working Papers 2017-105, Peruvian Economic Association.
    10. Sawada Yasuyuki & Mahmud Minhaj & Seki Mai & Le An & Kawarazaki Hikaru, 2017. "Individualized Self-learning Program to Improve Primary Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Bangladesh," Working Papers 156, JICA Research Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation

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