Tailoring Instruction to Improve Mathematics Skills in Preschools: A Randomized Evaluation

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Apr 2018
Tailoring instruction to each student’s needs can produce significant learning gains. However, few programs have successfully implemented this approach. In this paper, we present the results of a randomized evaluation of a program that uses an inquiry with an individualized scaffolding approach to teach Mathematics to preschoolers in Peru. Our results suggest that the program improves overall Mathematics outcomes, and that it has stronger impact on students in the lower quintiles of the Mathematics outcomes distribution and on students whose teachers have university degrees. The effect on the content areas where the program was implemented more intensively persists even one year after the program ended. We find no evidence of differential effects by gender, language-spoken at home, and proxies for SES, in contrast with results from previous research that suggest Mathematics programs are biased along gender and socioeconomic lines.