Doing the Math: The Effects of Tutorial Sessions over Learning in Brazilian Schools

Marcos A. Rangel, Princeton University and NORC at the University of Chicago
Fernando B. Botelho, Princeton University
Ricardo Madeira, Universidade de São Paulo

Recent results of international standardized examinations (PISA) have placed Brazilian students and schools well below the average expected for middle-income countries. The open question is what can be done particularly with students that are well behind the material they should have mastered, in particular during the transition to high-school. In the present article we evaluate in detail one of the first large-scale randomized evaluation of education policy initiatives in Brazil: small (5-students per tutor) tutorial sessions during after-school hours. Our findings suggest significant improvements in performance in standardized Math tests. Students exposed to the treatment are also better evaluated by teachers, and are better organized on their approach to Math studies. They are become more confident with respect to their ability to face Math problems (in school and life) and re-enroll at higher-rates for the next school year.

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Presented in Session 170: Effects of Education Investments: Randomized Evaluations