To combat the negative impacts of stress on our lives we need to emphasize a future of mental health prevention and optimization through psychological fitness. HERO Generation will enhance the ongoing efforts to make schools psychologically safe and higher-performing environments for students, staff, caregivers, and communities.
The purpose of the project is to improve elementary school students’ and teachers’ well-being and demonstrate that higher social-emotional skills contribute to improved personal and academic well-being. We believe that this improved overall experience will spill over into student’s homes and beyond.
Plasticity Labs’ research has identified that certain social-emotional traits have a higher propensity to increase happiness and performance. Some of the benefits to these clustered traits include: higher academic performance, mental healthiness, physical literacy, and personal/professional engagement, among many others. Therefore, this project will focus on building these key, high-performance traits. They are: Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism, Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (HERO Traits™). The project will encourage and foster the HERO Traits throughout the year with an emphasis on one character trait each month.
By engaging in hands-on learning, monthly assemblies, multi-age group activities, and linkage to existing curriculum, the HERO Generation will deliver the best possible opportunity for children, adolescents, and adults, to flourish.
We want to build a future of prevention versus treatment as the ever-increasing negative impacts of stress continue to impact our lives. For students and staff – creating a more psychologically safe school is going to help us achieve that goal.
The goal of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the HERO Generation program on elementary school students’ well-being and teachers’ well-being and to understand how building character traits and social-emotional skills contribute to social, personal and academic well-being.
This program was developed by Plasticity Labs in partnership with teachers and aims to teach children about social and emotional intelligence and help them build skills by offering content and activities for students. Activities are led by the teacher and done within the classroom. Activities range from practicing gratitude, setting a goal with a friend, and activities to illustrate how children are different from one another but the same in other ways.
We deliver learning materials and activities, test outcomes, and easily evaluate our programs at every level of interest (children, teachers, administrators, and even parents are encouraged to use the platform).
Each classroom has its own instance of the platform, so students can interact with their classroom peers.
All participating teachers have their own separate instance of the platform, which will provide training materials for intervention delivery and allow teachers to discuss the intervention, post about their class’ progress, and provide real-time feedback to the research team.
Participating students engage in a daily social activity wherein they reflect on the positives of the day as well as what they are excited about tomorrow.
Students’ answers are then shared with their class on a digital bulletin board built into the social platform.
In this way, we seek to increase the accessibility of the positive aspects of school, and increase feelings of enthusiasm for what tomorrow can bring through their daily practice.
Students answer a daily ‘feelings’ question, which feeds into an online dashboard showing each student’s moods over time, as well as the reasons they have provided for those fluctuations.
This real-time dashboard is a private interaction for JUST the student.
Teachers will receive aggregated and anonymous data to support a guided lesson on how to understand, use, and manage the emotions their students have experienced during the past month.
The first week of programming focuses on how to understand and manage negative emotions to help address any potential negative effects of considering one’s emotions. Paired with the weekly learning exercises, these daily practice activities are designed to help students build long-lasting positive habits.