New for September 2023: Read our evaluation study pre-print on OSF (free): https://osf.io/fhc2k/
Introducing the study
While teachers and other education professionals were involved throughout development of the LEANS resources, there’s no substitute for trying out resources in real classrooms.
The evaluation study had two main goals:
- To test LEANS as a neurodiversity teaching tool. Would children who participated be able to show knowledge of neurodiversity, and would their attitudes change?
- To test whether LEANS resources would be usable and practical in real classrooms.
To meet those goals, we created two quizzes that tried to measure the specific ideas taught in LEANS and collected qualitative information from open-response quiz questions, written teacher diaries, and interviews with a subset of children. This evaluation was pre-registered.
The following sections describe the study in a way intended to be accessible for teachers and families. It’s light on tables and statistical information!
Who participated in the study?
Four Scottish mainstream primary schools volunteered to test the LEANS resource pack between August-December 2021. Two schools were in smaller, more rural communities, and two were larger schools located in cities. Eight classes participated in total, with pupils aged 8-11 (years P5-P7, including some mixed-age classes).
About 160 children were exposed to the LEANS resources through this whole-class delivery. One class chose to withdraw from the study partway through, meaning that 139 children finished the LEANS programme. Of these, 62 children were enrolled in the LEANS evaluation study. This means we had permission from parents/carers to analyse their quiz scores.
2021 was an extraordinarily difficult and demanding year for schools across Scotland, the UK, and the world. We offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to our participating schools, who showed such commitment to LEANS in the face of so many other demands. We are equally thankful to all the schools who reached out and offered to support LEANS evaluations in other ways.
The LEANS curriculum aims not only to teach new knowledge about neurodiversity, but to influence pupils’ actions and intentions toward greater inclusiveness, respect, and kindness (our know-think-do goals). We created two bespoke quizzes that tried to measure the specific ideas taught in LEANS, one focused on attitudes-actions and the other on neurodiversity knowledge.
Quizzes and teacher quiz instructions