Curriculum Change and Early Learning: An Evaluation of an Activity Based Learning Program in Karnataka, India

Kallan GowdaAnjini KocharClosepet NagabhushanaN. RaghunathanStanford Center for International Development2013

Despite significant and increasing resources spent on primary schooling in India, improvements in learning have been difficult to achieve. Seeking to redress the system, many state governments have adopted a more flexible learning strategy that allows students to learn at their own pace and accommodates differences in learning levels and abilities within a classroom. Even though such strategies, referred to as Activity Based Learning (ABL), are growing in popularity, there are few rigorous evaluations of their impact on learning. If proven effective, these pedagogical changes hold the promise of improving learning outcomes without significantly enhancing the resources devoted to schooling. The evaluation of such methods is therefore of significant importance, particularly in economies where the ability to significantly increase the resources devoted to schooling may be limited. This paper evaluates one such program, the "Nali Kali" program adopted in the South Indian state of Karnataka, exploiting the phasing in of the program over cohorts and schools to identify its effects. 


South AsiaIndiaOriginal researchPolicy & Analysis

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