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, J. 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)
JournalJournal of Research on Educational Effectiveness
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Democratic Republic of the Congo
primary education
classroom
learning
Group
school
social intervention
teacher
low income
student
mathematics
violence
curriculum
performance

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

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

In: Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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