Quality education is one that fosters the social and emotional development, as well as the academic development of each child. Social and emotional competencies are important, as they are closely linked to an individual's well-being and critical for motivation in school, academic success and labor market participation (OECD 2015). The current middle school curriculum and teacher practice in Norway do not reflect the international research literature stressing social and emotional learning as a key component of quality education (NOU 2014:7). An extensive national revision of the learning plan is currently addressing this concern. Our project Resilient is designed to meet the demands of the new learning plan.
Resilient will empirically investigate if middle schools can improve youths' social and emotional competencies, and thereby enhance students' well-being, motivation and school achievement. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with at least 100 eighth-grade classrooms (n=2500 students), in which eighth-graders (14 years old) in treated classrooms participate in a social and emotional learning intervention called Resilient. Resilient is co-produced and piloted with users, and consists of a scientifically based curriculum, a web-portal with teacher and student resources, and an accompanying 10-credit teacher education. Based on international empirical research on how to enhance youths' social and emotional competencies, Resilient fosters competencies in social relationships, emotional regulation, problem solving, and motivational enhancement. We measure intervention-effects by assessing students' social and emotional competencies, well-being, motivation and school achievement at pre-intervention, at the end of the one-year intervention, and in a one-year follow-up. During the year of implementation, we conduct an extensive implementation and process evaluation, in order to understand why or why not the intervention is effective.