This innovation is based on a teacher training intervention that has been developed to train preschool teachers in Jamaica called the “Irie Classrooms Toolbox”. It is currently being evaluated in an effectiveness trial in 76 preschools in Kingston and St. Andrew and through an impact, process and economic evaluation. This innovation will adapt the toolbox for use in the primary school context.
The toolkit, designed for use with poorly trained teachers with relatively low levels of education, will be used to train school teachers of six to seven year olds (grade 1) in the management of classroom behavior and in strategies to promote child social-emotional competence.
The intervention will be delivered by the research team through:
- Five full-day workshops
Teachers will be trained in the use of key evidence-based behavior principles utilized in child behavior modification interventions that have been shown, through the research team’s previous studies, to be suitable and effective in the Jamaican context. This includes training in:
- Creating an emotionally supportive classroom environment
- Using classroom rules and routines to prevent behavior problems
- Managing child misbehavior effectively
This training is designed for teachers to deliver a curriculum unit on social and emotional skills that is fully integrated into on-going teaching and learning activities.
- Monthly in-class coaching and support sessions
The in-class support sessions will take place over two school terms, and involves coaching, praising, performance feedback and collaborative problem-solving.
- Weekly text messages
Text messages will be used to support, remind and encourage teachers.
Objectives of the innovation
Through this innovation, the following objectives are expected to be achieved:
- Increased emotional quality of the classroom environment
- Reduction in use of corporal punishment by teachers
- Improved teachers' mental health
- Reduction in children’s social, emotional and behavior problems during the critical early childhood period when children start formal schooling