Best Evidence in Brief: Behavior incentives improve exam results for low-achieving U.K. students

From experience to meaning...

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and this time I picked this interesting study which can foster quite some discussion. I’ve seen project like this before and I noticed that it can make people feeling very uncomfortable because of the ethical dimension:

Low-achieving students respond to incentives to increase their effort and engagement at school and do better than predicted on GCSE exams as a consequence (GCSEs are national high-stakes exams given at the end of secondary school in the U.K.). That is the main finding of  new research published by the University of Bristol.

The project, led by Simon Burgess, Director of the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO), included more than 10,000 year 11 students (the final year of compulsory schooling leading up to the GCSE assessments) in 63 schools. The schools were recruited in the poorest parts of neighborhoods in England and were randomized…

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