The effectiveness of the Meaningful Roles (SterkWerk) intervention

Basisschoolleerlingen in de klas

SterkWerk is an approach for groups 5-8 in which children are given specific roles to actively work on responsibility, ownership and prosocial behaviour. SterkWerk consists of three main components: meaningful roles, classroom meetings and compliments. Meaningful roles, such as newsreader or plant caretaker, are prosocial in nature, because children help one or more children or are considerate of other children in the class. Attention is paid to the strengths and talents of each child. At the weekly classroom meetings, the children are in charge and discuss how they feel and what the atmosphere is like in the classroom. This ensures interaction and connection with each other. In addition, children learn how to give and receive effective compliments and practice with doing so on a structural basis, which strengthens trust in others and reinforce confidence in one’s own abilities. The aim of SterkWerk is to improve the atmosphere and mutual relationships in the group. To investigate the effectiveness of SterkWerk, a randomized controlled study (RCT) is used. The intervention schools will start with SterkWerk next school year.

More information (in Dutch)



Collaboration partners in this research are KiVa B.V. and different primary/elementary schools.


The project is part of the research program “Effectmeting kansrijke interventies in het po en vo”, financed by the NRO (the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research).