GREATER PUPIL WELLBEING IN PRIMARY/LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Perspekt 2.0

The aim of this initiative is to create new knowledge about the capacity of a systematic and long-term programme called Perspekt 2.0 to increase the wellbeing of children to such an extent that the increase becomes measurable. Perspekt 2.0 is a teaching programme designed to engender a better sense of community among classmates in school and to promote schoolchildren’s social, emotional and personal skills.

The ROCKWOOL Foundation developed the first version of the Perspekt teaching material, a programme aimed at pupils in the primary/lower secondary school system in Denmark. In 2016 the rights to the material were transferred to Dansk Center for Undervisningsmiljø (DCUM; the Danish Centre for the Teaching Environment). That organisation further developed and updated the material to create Perspekt 2.0.

An impact evaluation of Perspekt 2.0 was carried out in 2018/2019 in 70 Danish schools by Professor Marianne Simonsen of Aarhus University, working in collaboration with the ROCKWOOL Foundation Interventions Unit. It is expected that the findings from the evaluation will be published in August 2020. Thereafter, the material will be made available to all the primary/lower secondary schools in Denmark through DCUM.

About the initiative

One of Denmark’s national goals for the development of primary/lower secondary schools is that the level of pupils’ wellbeing should be increased. International research shows that children’s emotional skills are important for their learning. These skills include, for example, being able to understand and participate in a social context, to work in groups, and to show empathy for classmates.

There is general agreement in Denmark concerning the need to increase children’s wellbeing in primary/lower secondary schools, but there is only limited existing knowledge about how best to do this. The aim of our current impact evaluation of Perspekt 2.0 is to find out more about the specific tools that can be used to promote children’s wellbeing.

Perspekt 2.0 focuses on improving children’s emotional, social and personal skills. More specifically, the aim is to increase children’s understanding of how people are different, of how one should be aware of one’s own limits, and of how one should conduct oneself towards others in a social community. In addition, the idea is to promote good communication between children – including communication via the social media.

Perspekt 2.0 focuses pupils’ minds on the idea that actions and utterances have consequences. The class has had some really good discussions!”

/ Year 6 teacher

If my friend was feeling upset, and I didn’t care, then I wouldn’t be a good friend. But if I went up to him and said, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ then he would feel that I was really paying attention to him.”

/Bertram, school pupil

The impact evaluation of Perspekt 2.0

Does the teaching of Perspekt 2.0 actually increase wellbeing among school pupils? The objective of the evaluation is to provide an answer to that question for pupils in Years 4 and 5, who are 10 to 12 years old. We wish to discover not only whether Perspekt 2.0 improves wellbeing among school pupils, but also whether there are specific groups of pupils who derive greater benefit from the course. We are particularly interested in discovering whether Perspekt 2.0 increases wellbeing among pupils who have previously reported low levels of wellbeing. In the slightly longer term, we also aim to investigate whether increased wellbeing resulting from Perspekt 2.0 affects pupils’ scholastic achievement.

Professor Marianne Simonsen (Aarhus University) is the Principle Investigator of the evaluation, which will follow the normal research standards for randomised control trials. We have published a pre-analysis plan for the data analysis, available here. We expect to be able to publish the first results of the evaluation by August 2020.

The RFI model

At the ROCKWOOL Foundation Interventions Unit we aim to generate new knowledge about how we can solve the challenges faced by society. We do this by combining research, social innovation and knowledge of practice, and by working with external partners who are keen to join in with our efforts to find new solutions. The RFI model covers four phases in which research, social innovation and knowledge of practice all interact, together creating the foundation for our initiatives. Our initiative designed to increase pupil wellbeing in Danish primary/lower secondary schools – Perspekt 2.0 – is currently in phase three of the model, Piloting and Evaluation. The findings from the impact evaluation will be published in 2020. Subsequently, the Danish Centre for the Learning Environment (DCUM) will make the material available free of charge to all the primary/lower secondary schools in Denmark, and will thus take responsibility for the upscaling of Perspekt 2.0.

Contact information

For more information, please contact the Programme Leader, Pernille Brems, by email at pbr@rfintervention.dk or by telephone on +45 20537085.

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