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IES Grant

Title: Development of a Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for Children At Risk for Emotional or Behavioral Disorders
Center: NCSER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Daunic, Ann Awardee: University of Florida
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5/16/2010-5/15/2013 Award Amount: $1,494,228
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A100020
Description:

Purpose: Students with social-behavioral problems early in their school careers are at high risk of developing long-term pervasive behavioral and academic problems, and early school success depends on successful social-emotional development. Given increasing demands to demonstrate accountability for academic achievement, however, educators maximize academic instruction time, often at the expense of social-emotional learning.

To address this problem, this research group will develop and preliminarily evaluate a social-emotional learning curriculum, SELF: Social- Emotional Learning Foundations, to promote emotional and behavioral self-regulation for children in Kindergarten and first grade who are at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders. The intervention is designed to be implemented during supplementary, small-group reading instruction.

Project Activities: During year one, the research team will develop Kindergarten lessons, and in year two, will develop first grade lessons and teacher training components. Year three activities will be devoted to implementing the full complement of grade K–1 lessons. During the last year, the research team will also develop professionally produced DVDs with examples of effective instruction and specific teaching strategies which will be part of the teacher training materials for the SELF curriculum. At each stage of development, the research team will monitor and evaluate lesson implementation using observational data and continually adjust curricular components to enhance treatment fidelity, social validity, and potential for improving children's behavioral outcomes. In addition, the team will use ongoing observations and feedback from focus group interviews to construct and revise an accompanying teacher-training component focused on key concepts and instructional strategies.

Products: The products of this project include a fully developed social-emotional learning curriculum, an accompanying teacher training component for use in a train-the-trainer model, evidence of feasibility of the intervention in K–1 classrooms, published reports, and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Elementary schools in North Central Florida

Population: Students in grades K–1 who are screened to be at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders who are not identified as developmentally delayed will participate.

Intervention: SELF lessons will focus on age-appropriate critical competencies involved in five areas of social-emotional learning: self-awareness (e.g., emotion recognition and identification), social awareness (e.g., perspective taking, respecting others), responsible decision-making, self-management, and relationship management.

The complete SELF curriculum will comprise 5 units (1 unit per critical competency) of approximately 10 lessons each. Teachers will conduct SELF lessons with groups of 3–6 students, 2–3 times a week, for 20–25 minutes during classroom time designated for supplemental reading instruction.

SELF lessons will incorporate instructional techniques that are closely aligned with best practices in teaching reading comprehension: (a) teacher modeling (b) guided practice (c) independent practice, feedback, and application. SELF will also focus on maximizing teacher-student dialog and developing concepts and vocabulary associated with emotions and behavior. Teachers will promote emotional and behavioral self-regulation, therefore, while simultaneously promoting language development. Social-emotional skills will be fostered through discussions of story content chosen and/or developed for the models of social behavior they provide. The project team will supplement commercially available tradebooks with songs, poems, pictures, and role-plays to help children apply these skills during small group instruction.

Research Design and Methods: A continuous, iterative, mixed-methods research design involving observations and feedback from stakeholders will be used to develop and refine the SELF curriculum during the first two years of the project. At each stage of development, the research team will monitor and evaluate lesson implementation using observational data and continually adjust curricular components to enhance treatment fidelity, social validity, and potential for improving children's behavioral outcomes. In addition, the team will use ongoing observations and feedback from focus group interviews to construct and revise an accompanying teacher-training component focused on key concepts and instructional strategies. During the last year, the research team will conduct a pre-post design evaluation to assess implementation of the entire curriculum package and potential impact on student outcomes.

Control Condition: N/A

Key Measures: The Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders will be used as a screening measure. Key measures include the Clinical Evaluation of Language, the Clinical Assessment of Behavior, the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function, and a researcher-developed teacher-report of students' knowledge and application of concepts and skills contained in the SELF curriculum. The Direct Observation of Practice Protocol will be used to determine if the intervention is operating as intended.

Data Analytic Strategy: Qualitative focus group data will be coded and analyzed to identify emerging patterns and themes using HyperRESEARCH software, and descriptive analyses of quantitative data from observation and treatment fidelity protocols will be used to revise and refine SELF lessons and accompanying teacher training. ANCOVA with repeated measures will be used to compare pre- to post-intervention measures of student knowledge/application of SELF concepts and student outcomes measures. To assess whether executive functioning mediates the effects of the intervention on behavioral and language outcomes, ANCOVAs will also be conducted with pre and post-treatment executive function scores as covariates.

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Daunic, A.P., Corbett, N.L., Smith, S.W., Barnes, T., Santiago-Poventud, L., Chalfant, P., Pitts, D., and Gleaton, J. (2013). Integrating Social-Emotional Learning With Literacy Instruction: An Intervention for Children at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 39(1): 43–51.

Santiago-Poventud, L., Corbett, N.L., Daunic, A.P., Aydin, B., Lane, H.B., and Smith, S.W. (2015). Developing Social-Emotional Vocabulary to Support Self-Regulation for Young Children at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Problems. International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology , 2(3): 1–9. doi:10.4172/ijscp.1000143 Full text


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