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What matters in early childhood education? A natural experiment assessing children’s cognitive and social-emotional learning?

Siddiqui, Nadia; Gorard, Stephen; Dixon, Pauline; See, Beng; Bulsari, Smruti; Saeed, Saba; Sarfaraz, Hamza; Pandya, Kiran

Authors

Pauline Dixon

Smruti Bulsari

Saba Saeed

Hamza Sarfaraz

Kiran Pandya



Contributors

Stephen Gorard
Editor

Nadia Siddiqui
Editor

Abstract

This study addresses the impact of early childhood education in Pakistan and India. This is a natural experiment design where children of comparable age and household socioeconomic characteristics are in both groups of attending school and not attending school. The study included 1,123 children (3.5 to 8 years) in the household samples. In this chapter we present findings of the experiment demonstrating the difference on children’s cognitive learning in relation to their school attendance status. We found that all children progressed in learning whether they attended school or not. However, there are gaps between the learning outcomes of children attending school or not, defined and measured in terms of literacy and numeracy. Children who attend school have opportunities to learn more (of relevance to these measures) as compared to children who do not attend school. Children not attending school may not meet the same level of attainment in literacy and numeracy because these skills are often taught through structured coaching, implementation of impactful learning approaches, and opportunities for regular practice, and feedback. The attainment gap widens as children grow up because children not in school usually do not have any other alternatives in catching up skills for literacy and numeracy.

Citation

Siddiqui, N., Gorard, S., Dixon, P., See, B., Bulsari, S., Saeed, S., …Pandya, K. (2024). What matters in early childhood education? A natural experiment assessing children’s cognitive and social-emotional learning?. In S. Gorard, & N. Siddiqui (Eds.), An International Approach to Developing Early Career Researchers: A Pipeline to Robust Education Research. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003455066-4

Acceptance Date Nov 21, 2023
Online Publication Date May 14, 2024
Publication Date May 14, 2024
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2024
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2025
Publisher Routledge
Book Title An International Approach to Developing Early Career Researchers: A Pipeline to Robust Education Research
Chapter Number 2
DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003455066-4
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1945797