5th grade teachers, Ms. Shipley and Ms. Adams are participating in this program.


A better classroom climate. Higher student performance. A reduction in teacher stress. Harmonious relationships. Collaborating effectively. Engaging in active learning experiences. Those are the goals of a University of Missouri research project currently in 25 Missouri public schools.  The way that the effort works is it teaches fifth grade math and science students prosocial behavior techniques – to help them understand how their behavior affects others.

MU launched the project in 2019. The pilot schools are part of a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant project that was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the Curators of the University of Missouri in 2018.

During this month’s State Board of Education member Kim Bailey, of Raymore, said the pilot program is working.

“We’ve been measuring the impact on student behavior, the impact on teacher satisfaction, and then this year we started measuring the academic impact. We’re seeing both measurable and profound impact on those three areas,” said Bailey.

Board member Peter Herschend, of Branson, spoke highly of the program’s impact in the Plato School District.

“The demeanor of the entire school – pre K-12 – the demeanor of the entire school has changed. The faculty that we talked to attributed to the implementation of the prosocial approach to education,” he said.

Board member Pamela Westbrooks-Hodge, of Pasadena Hills, said she is impressed with Potosi Intermediate School’s use of the program.

“Those kids were respectfully yielding to one another and greeting adults with maturity and confidence,” she said. “These are kids that are in a high trauma environment and so, to see them interact at that level was quite impressive.”

Jen Foster, the director of The Prosocial Education Collaborative, said the following Missouri schools are participating in the project:

*Laquey R-V
* Plato R-V
* Raymondville R-VII
* Dora R-III
* Summersville R-II
* Willow Springs R-IV
* Ava R-l
* Bronaugh R-VII
* Dadeville R-ll
* Davis R-XII
* Jefferson Elem (Joplin)
* Mirabile C-1
* Pleasant View R-VI
* Bland Middle School
* Bois D’Arc Elementary
* Chula School
* Greenville Elementary
* Hurley Elementary
* Mirable
* Tina-Avalon
* Trojan Intermediate School
* Van Buren Elementary
* West Fork Middle School
* Williamsville Elementary
* Winona Elementary
* Davis R-XII School

Foster said another 20 schools are joining the effort next year. Over the course of this project, about 2,500 students will be in classrooms where the teachers have been trained to use prosocial education