Enhancing socio-emotional skills through the school system
There is increasing evidence that children's social and emotional health and associated skills and mindsets are strongly related to better education and labor market outcomes in adulthood (Deming 2017, Jackson et al., 2020). Given this evidence, supporting students' emotional regulation, self-efficacy, and social skills are priorities for many education systems and an essential component of recovery activities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, how best to develop these skills through existing education systems is an open policy question. In partnership with the Puerto Rico Department of Education, this project seeks to evaluate a teacher professional development program focused on improving teachers' and students' social and emotional well-being and associated skills. The project has two goals. First, employing a sample of 600 primary schools, it will experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of this program on teachers' and students' socio-emotional outcomes and students' academic performance. Second, it will generate evidence on potential low-cost organizational levers within educational bureaucracies that could enhance the implementation quality of teacher development programs.