Effect of Extended Schooltime on Self-Confidence of Elementary School Children
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In the Netherlands unequal opportunities are a recognized societal issue. To tackle this, Levgroep implemented the verlengde schooldag (VSD) in Helmond, extending the schooltime. The VSD aims to increase equal opportunities by among other things enhancing self-confidence. This study examines how the program utilizes strategies like enhancing domain knowledge, emotional well-being, and positive reflection. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of VSD participants (N=8), and pedagogical professionals (N=4). Findings indicate that children in the VSD acquire improved social skills, although their development of subject-specific knowledge is limited. Their curiosity in diverse subjects, motivating participants to further explore and pursue learning increased, ultimately resulting in increased domain knowledge. The VSD does increase emotional wellbeing, as children experience a different learning environment or wow-factor. The program primarily focuses on praising accomplishments while largely ignoring failures. To foster a growth mindset, it would be beneficial to praise efforts and the learning process itself. The VSD is slightly sequenced, very active but not very focused and explicit, not fully meeting Durlak’s (2010) conditions for effective extended schooltime. The study also looked to what extend the conditions of Appelhof (2009) are met, finding a large degree of compliance.