Improving Primary Education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: End-Line Results of a Cluster-Randomized Wait-List Controlled Trial of Learning in a Healing Classroom

Catalina Torrente, John Lawrence Aber, Leighann Starkey, Brian Johnston, Anjuli Shivshanker, Nina Weisenhorn, Jeannie Annan, Edward Seidman, Sharon Wolf, Carly Tubbs Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We used a cluster-randomized, wait-list controlled trial to examine impacts of a school-based social-emotional learning intervention on Congolese students and teachers. Seventy-six school clusters in two groups (A and B) were randomized to treatment or control. The groups differed in geographic location, accessibility, exposure to violence, and external donor investment. We estimated causal impacts in Group A, tested whether those impacts were replicated in Group B, and conducted sensitivity analyses on the pooled sample. Pooled analyses had higher statistical power and were therefore more likely to represent the true average impacts of the program. Improvements in students’ perceptions of school predictability and in addition and subtraction, geometry, and reading performance were specific to Group B. Only the effect on addition and subtraction remained significant in the pooled analysis. Improvements in teachers’ sense of accomplishment were found in Group A and remained significant in the pooled analysis. We detected no impacts on other outcomes. School-based interventions embedding social-emotional learning principles into the academic curricula are a promising but not yet proven approach to improving children’s outcomes in low-income countries affected by war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-447
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Research on Educational Effectiveness
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Keywords

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • mathematics
  • reading
  • social-emotional well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Improving Primary Education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: End-Line Results of a Cluster-Randomized Wait-List Controlled Trial of Learning in a Healing Classroom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this