Small-Group Instruction to Improve Student Performance in Mathematics in Early Grades: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Public Economics. 2022, 216 . 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2022.104765
We investigate whether small-group instruction improves student performance in mathematics in the early grades using a large-scale RCT covering 159 Norwegian schools over four years. The students − 7–9 years old - are pulled out from their regular mathematics classes into small, homogenous groups of 4–6 students for mathematics instruction for 3 to 4 h per week, for two periods of 4–6 weeks per school year. Unlike many other recent tutoring experiments, all students are pulled out, not only struggling students. In our intention-to-treat analysis, we find that students in treatment schools increased their performance by 0.06 of a standard deviation in national tests, with no differential effect by baseline test score level, parental education, or gender. Our study is particularly relevant for policy-makers seeking to use additional teaching resources to target a heterogeneous student population efficiently.