Implementation of the Hand in Hand program for school staff and students

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review

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There is strong empirical evidence supporting that the way a program is put into practice - the implementation - is determent for outcomes (Durlak, 2016). Therefore, assessment of implementation is a crucial element in research to evaluate how outcome data should be interpreted. Evaluating implementation is however not frequent in social-emotional learning (SEL) programs (Jones & Bouffard, 2012). Both the program characteristics and the school context can be important, and a first issue often mentioned is the fidelity towards the active ingredients in a program. It has however been evidenced that adaptation to the national and/or local school context can be likewise important (Durlak & DuPre, 2008). The Hand in Hand project has addressed the call for more knowledge in this field by including research looking specifically into the implementation. The materials developed addresses implementation-issues by sharing reflections about adaptations etc. with the school staff, and by discussing the active ingredients under the headlines of 1) working with a variety of inner meditative exercises, more outer-going physical exercises and dialogue exercises, 2) by using "gearshifts" (e.g. between outer going and more inward going exercises), and by 3) working to establish close contact with school staff and students. Instead of the rather instrumental thinking in terms of success in transfer of a given knowledge from source, i.e. trainers/manuals, to recipients, i.e. schools, both translation theory (Røvik, 2016), and sociocultural theory about consequential transitions accentuate the complex co-construction processes taking place during implementation. These ways of thinking have informed the methodology in the present study collecting mainly qualitative data over time as structured reflection logs after each session at the schools, from introduction meetings to training sessions for school staff, leaders and counsellors, and students (the whole school approach: Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). The inputs (n=121) from May to December 2018, from trainers from Sweden, Croatia, and Slovenia have been analysed by thematic analysis of open reflections and cross-tabulations of the Likert scale answers, e.g. regarding the experiences of success in relation to the identified active ingredients. Findings show a complex picture with differences between countries and between schools, but with an overall theme of development over time e.g. in the experience of the social climate, and in the experiences of succeeding in establishing close contact with school staff/students. Furthermore, analysis of the open reflections illustrates a development over time in highlighting dynamic issues in these interpersonal relations.
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedECER 2019: 'Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future' - Hamborg, Tyskland
Varighed: 3 sep. 20196 sep. 2019


KonferenceECER 2019


  • Skoler, fag og institutioner