TMW Center Co-Director John List collaborated with a team of researchers from around the world to implement and evaluate two low-cost interventions aimed at improving the school readiness of children in remote rural communities in Bangladesh.
The first intervention was a formal preschool program that provided early education to children for five days a week and focused on developing cognitive, social and emotional abilities. The second intervention focused on a weekly home visit by teachers to caregivers to help enhance the learning environment within the home. These visits reflected the curriculum provided in the formal preschool setting. The interventions were carried out in 223 randomly selected rural villages in Bangladesh. Over two years, 7,000 children were assessed at the beginning of the program, after one year, and at the end. As well as analyzing the two separate interventions, the team also assessed the effectiveness of combining the preschool program with the home visits.
The results provide important insights for any community or nation looking to implement impactful early learning programs. The evidence showed that although the home visits yielded positive results in the short-term, particularly regarding children’s reading and verbal communication, traditional preschool settings were associated with higher cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, including literacy, numeracy, gross and fine motor skills, communication and problem-solving skills. Preschools were also more cost-effective. Learn more here.