The differentiated impact of Kangaroo Class programmes in Quebec primary schools: Examining behavioural improvements in relation to student characteristics.


Inspired by Nurture Groups, Kangaroo Class (KC) programmes have been gradually expanding in francophone schools throughout the Canadian Province of Quebec. These classes are designed for primary students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBDs) and aim to provide children with a nurturing and predictable environment. To date, KC research data show only moderate improvements in attendees’ behaviour. The aim of this study is to differentiate the characteristics of children with a positive behavioural trajectory from those with a negative behavioural trajectory after 2 years of attending KC by examining the sample group in light of their prior educational history, family-specific factors and types of SEBDs. Results indicate that the primary school children whose behaviour improved after 2 years attending KC had entered the programme displaying higher levels of adjustment difficulties and a greater incidence of internalising behaviours in contrast to those whose behaviour deteriorated. These preliminary results, although obtained through a very small sample size, might warily suggest that when a KC admission choice must be made between a range of potential programme candidates, selecting children with internalising behaviours over those with externalising behaviours would likely lead to more effective outcomes.