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Impact Evaluation Research on Socio-Emotional Skills and Mindset

Since 2015, the Lemann Center has been conducting a directed set of projects focused on improving student mindsets and strengthening socio-emotional skills. Generally speaking, the academic literature has demonstrated that socio-emotional skills have tremendous predictive power for students’ long-run educational and labor market outcomes. In Brazil, this is certainly the case. The problem in Brazil is that the traditional models and means of teaching socio-emotional skills may not be feasible. For example, parental involvement is low in Brazil and parental educational backgrounds are diverse. Identifying times and ways to improve socio-emotional learning is difficult given the importance of parents in this process. Our work is testing different models on the delivery of training ranging from intensive professional development with teachers, computer-based classroom training, SMS, and other ways to reach parents, children, and teachers. This work is ongoing, but the preliminary results suggest that growth mindset and the willingness of students to resiliently apply themselves to learning has improved as a result of the intervention. We will continue to develop these ideas and our causal analyses of the impact of various interventions on growth mindset and, in turn, on increasing academic achievement among low-income students.