CosmoKidz in a Whole-of-School Trial
We are trialing a whole-of-school approach in Louisiana based on an entire school consisting of 27 teachers and 17 pre-k through 4th grade classes. This research will be focused on the changes that occur when the entire school is using CosmoKidz and CosmoTweenz activities, along with deliberation, on a regular basis.
The school is enthusiastic about this development and it recently made headlines in the local newspaper, The Daily Star, where they describe how the program was introduced to the parents on Nov. 14 by Pastor Chipps Taylor. Parents and students were treated to pizza and had an opportunity to learn more about the CosmoKidz program.
As part of the program, five specific research questions will be addressed.
- To what extent are the pre-k and kindergarten children able to meaningfully discuss the topics in CosmoKidz?
- How does the use of CosmoKidz/Tweenz, over the course of a school year, reinforce the pre-k through fourth-grade students’ communication, empathy and perspective-taking, sense of agency, sense of belonging to a democratic class community, and deliberative decision-making skills? How does the use of CosmoKidz/Tweenz, over the course of a school year, reinforce the pre-k through fourth-grade students’ interpersonal communication skill sets and actions across contexts (outside of the classroom and at home)?
- How does using CosmoKidz/Tweenz and modified deliberations affect teachers’ thinking about democratic citizenship and communication?
- In what ways does the use of CosmoKidz/Tweenz carry-over into a deliberative context? What communication skill sets are apparent as children deliberate topics related to their social world? What are the deliberative and communication skill-sets that children are exhibiting in the first modified deliberation? How do these skills differ at the end of the school year (as observed by the last modified deliberations) as children are using CosmoKidz/Tweenz daily in the classroom?
- What changes occur for staff (in their communication patterns, level of empathy, perspective-taking, agency, and sense of belonging and ownership to decisions that are made) as they use deliberative practices in staff/grade-level meetings? What differences in the overall school culture have occurred due to the school-wide use of CosmoKidz/Tweenz and deliberative practices?