‘I can do what I do dream’: Doing Our Best Report 2016-17

Date: 5th September 2017
Category: Respect for the views of the child

Doing Our Best is a programme developed by the Children's Parliament and delivered in Aberdeen City's four Attainment Challenge Primary Schools. This report looks at the impact of the programme using evidence from the views of children and classroom teachers.

The poverty-related attainment gap is a human rights issue. To impact on attainment in the long-term and in ways that are sustained for the learner and for teachers, there is a need to address how children see themselves as learners, and to create classroom environments where children are both loved and nurtured.

The Doing Our Best programme is built around a series of creative whole-class and small group tasks. The class teacher and Children's Parliament worker talk with children about investigating learning, removing any sense of stigma or deficit from the programme.

The first aspect of the programme is a focus on learner self-perception. The programme uses the Myself As a Learner Scale (MALS) one-to-one with children pre-and-post intervention. It provides a validated tool to explain and measure the three main aspects of learner self-perception which are:

  • A sense of agency related to learner optimism;
  • Learned helplessness and;
  • Enjoyment and active involvement in problem-solving.

The second aspect of the programme is on the development of rights-based relationships. Children's Parliament views adult/child relationships as central to a child's wellbeing and educational outcomes. Rights-based relationships are those defined by a mutual understanding of the centrality of human dignity, empathy, kindness and trust.

This report on Doing Our Best uses quantitative data available from the results of the MALS tool. Qualitative evidence comes from the views of children and classroom teachers who participated.

When measuring learner self-perception, Children's Parliament learn that:

  • The programme has a positive impact on the learner self-perception;
  • The impact has been statistically significant for all learners in terms of a sense of agency related to learning optimism;
  • Children who started with a lower than average score received most benefit from the intervention. For them, there was a statistically significant impact in terms of 2 areas: enjoyment and active involvement in problem-solving and sense of agency related to learning optimism.

Reflecting on the programme, children say that:

  • Doing Our Best supports them to think about learning and themselves as a learner;
  • They like the programme activities which are engaging and fun;
  • Activities help them to consider approaches, attitudes and skills for learning;
  • They have learned about their rights and the core idea of human dignity. This helps them think about how they get on with others.
  • Read the full 'Doing Our Best' report 2016-2017 here.