Prosocial and Active Learning (PAL) Classrooms 2.0

Professional Learning Powered by eMINTS

Project Overview

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We are excited to announce that the University of Missouri and the eMINTS National Center have been awarded an Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Grant to expand prosocial education into middle school! The Prosocial and Active Learning (PAL) Classrooms 2.0 Project aims to improve school climate by increasing prosocial behavior and student engagement in a school-wide approach. 

Some teachers are hesitant to use active learning and cooperative learning strategies because their students lack social skills for group work. PAL Classrooms 2.0 will support teachers in engaging students in active learning while promoting the development of positive, or prosocial, student behaviors required for effective collaboration.

PAL Classrooms re-energize teachers. This program helps teachers to feel happier and more content in their work. By focusing on positives we can help reduce teacher stress and burnout!  -Christi Bergin

Project Goals

I wish I could go back to the beginning of my career and really focus on building those positive relationships cause kids don't learn from people they don't like!    

- Crystal (veteran middle school science teacher)


Project Focus

This project focuses on implementing prosocial education in a school-wide approach to enhance school climate and culture, improve student behavior, and create positive and productive learning environments

We will work with middle school administrators, teacher-leaders, and teachers to engage in a school-wide climate and culture renewal through high-quality professional learning experiences, coaching, mentoring, and support.

Focusing on the positive rather than negative behavior is a complete shift in mindset, but it is so worth it! 

-Tanya (5th grade self-contained)

Our Approach:

Professional Learning Experiences

"The PD was amazing. I was surprised how many new strategies I learned that I could turn around and immediately apply to my classroom!"

 -Melissa (5th grade science)

eMINTS has over 25 years of experience in developing and delivering high-quality professional development to educators across the country.  In this program, we have worked closely with educators and leading experts in prosocial education to develop learning experiences that support the needs of the participants as they engage in professional growth. 

Teachers will engage in 40 hours of PD to learn how to implement prosocial education and to discover new active learning strategies that engage students in collaboration and teamwork. 

Teacher-Leaders will engage in the Teacher PD program plus an additional 18 hours of PD to strengthen their ability to provide on-site coaching and mentoring for their colleagues. 

Administrators will engage in 18 hours of PD to introduce prosocial education, evaluate the school climate and culture, and analyze current policies and practices that impact the school climate.

District Trainers will be optional for districts wishing to expand prosocial education beyond middle school. These trainers will engage in additional PD, observations, and co-facilitation of training sessions to become certified PAL coaches who can provide training within the district.

Professional learning is supported through ongoing coaching and mentoring.

To support teacher professional learning the grant will provide participants with a copy of the Designing a Prosocial Classroom book. 

To support coaching, reflection, collaboration, and data collection, the grant will provide each grade level with an IRIS Connect System.

The grant will provide stipends to districts to help with expenses associated with participants engaging in professional learning sessions outside of the regularly contracted time.

Interested Schools

We are currently recruiting! 

Watch our informational webinar to learn more about the project!

Recruitment Process

The Research

This is a randomized control study (RCT). What does that mean? Once we have recruited all participants, our evaluation partners the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will randomly place schools into two equal groups. 

Group A will be the Immediate Start schools. They will engage in PD 2025 - 2026. Group B will be our Delayed Start schools. They will engage in PD 2026 - 2027. 

Data for both Immediate and Delayed Start schools will be collected during the 2025 - 2026 school year. 

Data Collection

*Participants may opt out of participating in data collection at any time with no consequences.

As part of the study, we will collect data from and about teachers, administrators, and students. We will ask teachers and administrators to complete a pre-survey at the beginning of the school year and a post-survey at the end of the school year. Teachers will also be asked to record a class at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the school year to measure the use of PAL Classroom strategies. 

Students will participate in the study by completing a student pre-survey at the beginning and end of the school year. 

AIR will also securely collect school and grade level demographic information such as teachers' and administrators' years of experience, ages, races, genders, and subject areas taught, as well as students' ages, races, genders, grade levels, attendance records, FRL status, state assessment data, and IEP eligibility. 

Data Storage & Participant Protection

All data will be collected and managed by the University of Missouri and the American Institutes of Research (AIR). Once collected, data will be de-identified, encrypted, and stored on secure servers by the University of Missouri.

Teacher Testimonials

Check out what our past participants have to say about the program!

Ready to Get Started?

Step 1: Discuss participating in the project with your stakeholders (teachers, parents, administrators, board members, etc.).

Step 2: Complete the PAL Classrooms 2.0 School Recruitment form to receive the official participation documentation.

Step 3: Complete and submit the official participation documentation.

For more information about the grant or eMINTS contact pal@emints.org - or - check out the following resources: