Teachers seeking to know if initiatives are impacting on their pupils' confidence should use questionnaires freely available from Glasgow's Centre for Confidence and Well-being, said chief executive Carol Craig.
Dr Craig made her comments at last week's outdoor learning conference. One of the major criticisms of her book, The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, was that it lacked empirical evidence, she said. So when the centre opened, she was determined to give people the tools to do their own research. "Project leaders often claim that their project builds the confidence of participants but often have no hard evidence of these claims, as it can be very difficult to provide," she said. "The confidence research system is designed to measure these `soft' outcomes."
The centre has a variety of measures available online. All questionnaires have been designed by psychologists and are reliable and valid, said Dr Craig. They include measures for optimism, resilience and happiness.
They also ask for information such as postcode and ethnicity, which means that data can be interrogated to uncover variations by race or affluence.