Mate-Tricks offered Fourth Class pupils (aged 9 and 10) a twice weekly afterschool programme for one academic year, aimed at enhancing pro-social skills.
The Evaluation of Mate-Tricks found that the programme was ineffective in promoting pro-social behaviour and had an adverse effect on social behaviour and authoritarian parenting.
These findings highlight the difficulties of impacting on child behaviour through after-school programmes.
Thus a programme such a Mate-Tricks should be implemented with a high degree of caution.
The fact that the programme was largely considered positively by those involved in it highlights the need for integrity and rigour. When it comes to identifying “what works” to promote pro-social behaviour, instinct is not enough.