Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS, www.pathseducation.com) is a universal, classroom-based curriculum that teaches social and emotional learning to primary school children. It involves helping children to recognise emotions and values, make constructive choices about personal and social behaviour, and show understanding and empathy for others. The programme also teaches children how to label their feelings and apply self-control strategies, hopefully leading to improvements in classroom behaviour, resilience and verbal fluency. Developed originally in the USA, the NI version has been rolled out in schools across Northern Ireland to children’s improve the social and emotional skills.
The baseline evaluation of PATHS® (NI version) was conducted by Queen’s University Belfast. Following this, all further data collection and analysis was conducted by the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) at University of York and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
Data from the evaluation of PATHS NI version have been made available via the Irish Social Science Data Archive, with funding from the Prevention and Early Intervention Research Initiative at the Children's Research Network. Data from the quantitative assessment of the PATHS evaluation are included in the archived collection, namely the Assessment of Children’s Emotions Scale (ACES) and the Challenging Situations Task (CST) for P1 and P2 classes at three data collection sweeps (S1, S4 and S5); and the Teacher Ratings of Pupil Behaviour (TRB) for P1, P2 and P5 at four data collection sweeps (S1, S2, S4 and S5).