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ERIC Number: EJ1133719
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
The Value of Large-Scale Randomised Control Trials in System-Wide Improvement: The Case of the Reading Catch-Up Programme
Fleisch, Brahm; Taylor, Stephen; Schöer, Volker; Mabogoane, Thabo
South African Journal of Education, v37 n1 Article 1248 Feb 2017
This article illustrates the value of large-scale impact evaluations with counterfactual components. It begins by exploring the limitations of small-scale impact studies, which do not allow reliable inference to a wider population or which do not use valid comparison groups. The paper then describes the design features of a recent large-scale randomised control trial (RCT) evaluation of an intermediate phase literacy intervention that we evaluated. Using a rigorous sampling process and randomised assignment, the paper shows the value of the approach, and how the RCT method prevents researchers from reaching potentially harmful false positive findings. The paper also considers some of the limitations of the RCT method and makes recommendations to mitigate these.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A