Project: The Minerva Project - Improving the classroom environment, collaboration, mental health and mathematical skills in elementary school children
This large scale project will evaluate the effects of two evidence-based tools in elementary school - a program that enables teachers to improve the study environment and teacher-student collaboration in the classroom to facilitate mental health and academic performance and a digital math application utilizing gameification to enhance involvement.
Facts about the project
Project manager Viktor Kaldo Other project members Ekaterina Ivanova och Ata Ghaderi, Karolinska Institutet; Gustav Nilsson, Thomas Nordström, Idor Svensson och Richard Karlsson, Linnaeus University; Martin Kariberg, Inna Feidman och Filipa Sampiaio Uppsala University; Petra Lindfors, Stockholm University; Stefan Jacob, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan Participating organizations Linnaeus University; Stockholm University; Karolinska Institutet; Uppsala University; KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Ideella föreningen Vestigio Financier Forte (research council funding research on health, working life and welfare) 2020-2023 Subject Psychology (Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)
More about the project
High quality classroom and work environment is essential for school children’s well-being and academic performance as well as for teachers’ work-related well-being. However, there are substantial deficiencies in these domains in Swedish primary schools. Moreover, math performance in Swedish school children has been declining during the past years.
'PAX Good Behavior Game' is a pedagogical tool that enables teachers to create a focused and cooperative classroom environment with the help of specific strategies to pay positive attention to and support the children’s social competence, problem solving, self-regulation and ability to focus on schoolwork. PAX strengthens the teachers in their leadership and releases time for pedagogical work. PAX has been evaluated in numerous controlled trials and proved effective in improving classroom environment as well as school children’s well-being and academic performance.
The math application ‘Count on Me!’ has been developed in Sweden an order to be used in math classes in regular school settings in accordance with the Swedish national study plan for elementary schools. The app teaches fundamental math skills such as addition and subtraction flow, composing and decomposing numbers, the meaning of the equal sign etc. The app is designed as an adventure where the child chooses an avatar and travels though the worlds of the game by applying mathematical skills. The app is evaluated in Sweden in a large randomized controlled trial and have proved to be effective in improving math skills in elementary school children with the largest effects among the children with lowest level of math skills at baseline.
The aim of the project is to evaluate the effects of ‘PAX Good Behavior Game’ and ‘Count on Me!’ in elementary school. In a cluster-randomized design a total of 2100 school children in 1st and 2nd grades from around 28 schools (clusters) with different socio-economic status with be randomized to either work with ‘PAX Good Behavior Game’ or ‘Count on Me!’ The two groups will be each other’s control groups to make sure that the effect is due to the tested intervention. After one year both groups with be given opportunity to implement the intervention they were not randomized to at the start. Study data will be collected by independent observers, noise level measurements as well as assessments competed by the teachers and the children. Qualitative interviews conducted with teacher will shed light on the implementation aspects as well as the interventions’ positive and negative effects.