Michael Schwalbe is a PhD candidate in Psychology and a researcher at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. Michael’s research focuses on the psychology of change and how theory-driven interventions increase achievement and well-being. With the support of a research grant from The Europe Center, Michael traveled to a secure data room in London in October of 2017 to access and analyze final outcome data of a large-scale randomized control trial he helped design and implement across 13 further education colleges to improve basic literacy and numeracy in the United Kingdom in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team.
In London, more specifically, Michael’s research focused on analyzing whether a culturally-adapted values affirmation intervention improves course passage and attendance rates in basic English and math courses at further education colleges, akin to community colleges, in the UK, a country with one of the lowest literacy and numeracy rates in the OECD. In registered planned analyses, the intervention was also predicted to be particularly effective for (a) students in remedial “functional skills” courses, and (b) Black Caribbean students, the lowest performing group facing academic stigma in the country.