Development of socio-emotional skills —such as self esteem, self regulation, anger management etc— is critical for students especially in the 8-15 year age group. Possessing these skills results in improved academics, increased independence, and in the long run better transition to adulthood. However, children from vulnerable backgrounds do not get the opportunity to develop these skills. Some reasons for this include lack of integration in the school curriculum and poor capacity of teachers to impart these skills.
Learning Curve is a non-profit organization based in Hyderabad, which focuses on building life skills for 8-14 year olds in under resourced schools via the approach of teacher development and providing detailed life skills curriculum and scripted lesson plans for use in classrooms by the teachers.
Teacher development is conducted through regular workshops and mentorship through the academic year— these focus on mindset change, building trust and empathy, knowing the learner, effective facilitation etc. Using the curriculum and toolkits, teachers facilitate 48 sessions (45 minutes each), usually conducted twice a week over 6 months. The curriculum takes into account the age and development milestones of children, and progressively covers socio-emotional development aspects of the child. Progress of both teachers and children is carefully documented and evaluated using a set of established tools and frameworks – in 2016, the programs demonstrated that close to 75% of all children enrolled showed improvements in life skills scores over the baseline.
Potential for Systemic Impact
The dual focus on developing teacher capacity and providing resources strengthens impact of the programme. Further, schools see a strong value proposition in the intervention as it results in visible positive behavioral changes among students.