Improving Learning in Primary Schools of Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Experiments

Author: 
McEwan, Patrick J.
Institutional affiliation: 
Wellesley College
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Published Date: 
2013
Overview: 

This paper shares the findings of a meta-analysis of 76 randomized experiments administered in developing countries over the last 40 years. In total, this included the effects of 110 different school interventions - including instructional materials, computers or technology, financial incentives, teacher training, and school meals - on language and mathematics scores in primary school students. Computer interventions (when they accompany instructional time and training is provided) and teacher training have the most significant impacts while monetary grants and deworming show insignificant effects on learning. However, data provided are insufficient to determine cost effectiveness and the author stresses the importance of taking into account both effect size and cost when determining best practices.

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