Changing trajectories of learning and development: experimental evidence from the Quality Preschool for Ghana interventions

Journal of the British Academy

Authors Sharon Wolff and Morgan Peele examine results from the Quality Preschool for Ghana project, which included two intervention programs. They look at how each program affected children's literacy, numeracy, social-emotional and executive function skills.

Author: Sharon Wolf and Morgan Peele
Organization: University of Pennsylvania
Date: March 25, 2020
Country: Ghana


We examined how exposure to two intervention programmes designed to improve the quality of pre-primary education in Ghana—the Quality Preschool for Ghana project—impacted children’s rate of growth in academic (literacy and numer- acy) and non-academic skills (social–emotional and executive function) across two school years. This cluster-randomised trial included 240 schools (N = 3,345 children, Mage = 5.2 at baseline) randomly assigned to one of three conditions: teacher training  (TT), teacher training plus parental-awareness meetings (TTPA), and control. We found some evidence that the interventions altered children’s rate of growth in aca- demic and non-academic skills for the full sample, and one unexpected finding: TTPA had negative impacts on growth in numeracy skills. When examined by grade level and gender, TT improved trajectories of younger children, and the negative effects of TTPA on numeracy were driven by boys. Implications are discussed in the context of global early childhood education policy, and teacher professional development and parental engagement programmes.