This two-year project is aimed at improving the capabilities of primary school teachers in Serbia to implement Social and Emotional Character Development (SECD) practices. While the Serbian national education policy emphasizes ‘upbringing’, or developing children’s soft skills such as cooperation and decision-making, there is often gap in teachers’ competency in this area. By preparing teachers with the essential tools to integrate SECD into their teaching, this project will work to close this gap and support character development of children, thus building the soft skills that students will need for successful transition to adulthood and improving children's understanding of civic and intellectual character virtues such as justice, respect for others, tolerance, self-control, open-mindedness, curiosity.
The project is implemented by Childhood Education International (CE International), a nonprofit international development organization based in Washington, DC, and CIP-Center for Interactive Pedagogy (CIP-Center), a nongovernmental organization based in Belgrade, Serbia. Activities include conducting a needs assessment to determine existing SECD practices and perceptions in five primary schools, developing an SECD framework which is contextualized to the Serbian history and education environment, delivering a training to 125 teachers in the five schools, and establishing a community of practice centered around SECD practices. CE International and CIP-Center will also conduct ongoing program evaluation to improve the SECD framework and identify opportunities to scale the project model to other schools, age groups, and regions.