In collaboration with the University of Murcia in Spain, the main goal of this project is to develop and implement a new curriculum aimed at stimulating the development of non-cognitive skills of elementary education students aged 4 to 12. To do so, the project brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, whose fields include education, economics, psychology, neuro-psychology, speech therapy, pediatrics, and others.

Character strengths and skills such as conscientiousness, grit, or self-control have been found to be a fundamental determinant of education, labor, and even health outcomes from childhood all the way until adulthood. Although we know of the relevance of such character strengths and skills, less is known about their origin and development and to what extent they can be shaped by the school environment. In this respect, this project seeks to contribute to the literature answering the following research questions: 1) To what extent can these character strengths and skills be encouraged to be successfully taught in the school environment? 2) Would new teacher practices oriented to teach these important character strengths have an impact on student academic outcomes? 3) What is the role of parents in the success of these practices?

For more information visit the project’s web page:

Funding: Seneca Foundation

Media Mentions: Spanish Radio (COPE Murcia) InterviewU of A Professor’s Research Project in Spain Asks if Character Traits Can Be Taught