Feb 3, 2010 Lesson Planning 7391 Views
Using Baselining to do a Project Evaluation for a Self Esteem Raising Programme
Conducting a programme to develop the self esteem of children in a class at school is something teachers are often asked to do. Usually it is targeted at one or two particular children who seem to struggle with low self worth and a lot of negative thinking about themselves and teachers are asked to try to change this about the children. This is easier said than done but with some thought and understanding is possible and for this it is best to use some kind of indicator or profile tool that gives you an insight into the nature of the child's low self esteem. Very often these children are also having support from staff whose responsibility it is to assist pupils with behaviour management and also learning catch up. These members of staff are in an ideal situation to start a small programme of self esteem building with the children as they see them in smaller groups or on a one to one basis. Whichever staff member it is who takes on the challenge of raising self esteem in these children the one thing they know is that the senior management team and their colleagues will want to know how successful it has been. This is because self esteem development is an issue for many children and anything that consistently makes a difference to self esteem levels will be rolled out throughout the school. This means that some form of evaluation has to take place so that success or difficulties with the programme can be understood.
To begin putting together a self esteem development programme you need to find out what aspect of self esteem needs to be developed in particular and also which element of a child's self esteem is their strongest suite. Even if their strongest component of self esteem is relatively low compared to other children we still need to know which one - for them - is the strongest. This is the place we begin as we work out a series of activities which will form the programme. Doing some kind of questionnaire is necessary as that forms the basis, not only of the design of the programme-to-be but also the baseline of the child level of self esteem, and acts as a marker from which the changes in behaviour, attitude and thinking can be charted. The self esteem profile we recommend is Self Esteem Indicator available through CLADAC (Child Learning and Development Advisory Centre) where the profile works out three components of self esteem and the report indicates which of these three (sense of self, sense of belonging and sense of personal power) is the strongest and which the weakest. Once this has been established and a nominal 'score' given to these it is possible to choose a set of activities and particular experiences for the child whereby they will gradually come to perceive themselves differently. For example if a child's weakest score is in a sense of belonging and their strongest score is in their sense of self a programme that focuses on activities such as journaling and creative drawing/writing will be likely to succeed. That would be working with the child's strength and ability to self reflect and then putting them in situations where they have successful social interactions and build a sense of pride in their class/group/school/family... That way they will recognise as they write and reflect that they are having some good times and find that they have a connection with others that they had not realised or felt before.
Once the child has gone through the programme it is helpful to ask them to complete the questionnaire again to track changes and this can be supplemented by observations and comments from other adults. It can then be done again three - six months later to ensure that progress has continued and to check if more intervention is needed.
Alongside this tracking of the child's progress the other advantage of using a profile such as this is that it very clearly shows if the programme is being successful in achieving the aim of increasing self esteem for children who are struggling. This provides a very useful way to evaluate the programmes and gives material for extremely productive collegial dialogue when children are being discussed. There are many different tools available for assessing self esteem and schools are advised to explore the alternatives and choose one that reflects the aspects that make sense to them with their children. There is no self esteem measure that is 'right'; only one that is right for your school and your situation.