To answer the research questions and contribute to the knowledge base of effects of mass-media interventions in this context, we will conduct an implementation and evaluation in 216 Kindergarten 2 (KG2) schools (including one classroom per school) with about 4,500 children. In the evaluation design, a randomly assigned half of the schools will be exposed to the a collection of Ahlan Simsim episodes, while the other half will be exposed to the National Kindergarten curriculum designed by the Ministry of Education. Only in the intervention group, 26 minutes of TV content will be provided per preschool day. Eligible schools assigned to either control or treatment conditions will be invited to participate in the intervention and consent for receiving the intervention will be obtained from the principal of the school following the procedures established by the MoE in Jordan. All children enrolled in participating schools/classrooms will participate in the evaluation, after obtaining parental consent for these activities. Children or families who do not consent their participation in the evaluation will remain in the classroom during the intervention but will not be invited to participate in the evaluation activities.
After obtaining consent, we will collect baseline data, which will consist of a standard survey asking parents to report on: (1) The demographic composition of their households, (2) their objective and perceived socio-economic status, (3) their parenting practices and beliefs about child development, (4) the frequency and conditions of media exposure of children at home and (5) their perception of their child's developmental performance in the areas of communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving (Ages and Stages Questionnaire). This survey will be modeled after one that is being currently piloted in the Home Visiting project of Ahlan Simsim in Jordan. During the intervention, we will collect data from teachers on intervention implementation (through a weekly activities log) and teacher reports of children's social behavior. After the end of the 12 weeks of daily viewing of Ahlan Simsim episodes in the school/classroom, data collection with children will be conducted using child direct assessment measures on emotion recognition, identification, and expression; self-regulation and inhibitory control; and recognition and use of self-regulation strategies, with the sample of consented participants, to describe and understand their levels of the emotion assessments after being exposed to the intervention. A direct comparison of the average levels of the social and emotional skills of children exposed to the two conditions for a period of 12 weeks will directly answer the first question. An exploration of potential differences in these effects associated with individual, classroom, and setting level-characteristics will shed light about for whom, when and under what circumstances these effects are manifested.