Three lessons from an effect evaluation of the Swedish Science and Technology for Children Programme

Erik Mellander, Joakim Svärdh


This paper discusses three methodological aspects on evaluations of effects of teacher support programmes on students’ scholastic achievements. The three aspects are: i) participants and non-participants are, in general, not comparable, which needs to be accounted for, in order to avoid incorrect conclusions regarding the programme’s effects ii) programme effects can differ across subject fields, and iii) to enable precisely estimated effects it is essential to have access to standardized outcome measures. To illustrate the three aspects, we use the results in an earlier evaluation of the effects of the Swedish Science and Technology for Children programme (the NTA programme), on school achievements in grade 9. There, positive effects could be established only after adjusting for systematic differences between participants and non-participants. Moreover, the effects were limited to one subject, Physics, and visible only for results on nationwide tests, not for course grades set by the students’ teachers.


Science process, inquiry-based learning, 7-15 years, quantitative assessment

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