Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being / Monitoring and Evaluating / Case Study: Healing Classrooms Teacher Development Intervention in Herat, Western Afghanistan

Case Study: Healing Classrooms Teacher Development Intervention in Herat, Western Afghanistan

The Healing Classrooms teacher training in Herat, Afghanistan, focused on teacher actions and behaviors that promote student well-being. In the harsh environments of western Afghanistan, teachers would usually just recite lessons from books with little introduction or wrap-up. There had been little attention paid to the learning or emotional needs of students, and the classes did not create a sense of a learning community. Through the Healing Classrooms intervention, teachers were encouraged to adopt various classroom management strategies to help students feel that they belong to a class and are part of an important learning process. These included, for example, greeting the children in the morning and using their names, using learning games to reinforce key learning concepts, and ensuring that the meaning of the texts to be written and recited is understood by the students and related to their own experiences.

Such activities were understood as being supportive of student well-being. So tools were developed, based on a series of proxy indicators, to assess the extent to which teachers used such practices. Teachers and students were asked, for example, if the teacher shouts in class, or if the teacher calls the names on the class register aloud. They were asked to respond in one of four ways: Always, Sometimes, Rarely, Never. Comparison of the pre-intervention and post-intervention data provides evidence of the positive impacts of the teacher training. This evidence is, of course, reliant on self-reporting of the teachers and on the reliability of the students' data; but the triangulation of the different perspectives (students' and teachers') with classroom observations support the self-reporting.


Review the assessment tools used in the Herat Healing Classrooms teacher training. Consider whether the proxy indicators would be relevant and appropriate in your context. If not, develop a set of relevant proxy indicators that could be used to gain insights into the apparent effectiveness of your programs to support student well-being.

Definition: proxy indicators

highly context-specific, second-hand measurement that will reliably represent another measure