Dr. Emily J. Doolittle
REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: FY 2020 84.305A (PDF: 428 KB)
The Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning (Social-Behavioral) topic supports research on social-behavioral competencies (i.e., social skills, attitudes, and behaviors) that improve student achievement and progress. The long-term outcome of this research investment includes a richer understanding of ways to improve or assess students' social-behavioral competencies, and teacher practices that support them, that over time will improve student academic achievement and successful progression through school.
Between 2008 and 2018, NCER has invested over $245,000,000 in the Social-Behavioral topic to support 120 research projects that explore, develop, test, or evaluate interventions or assessments to improve the social and behavioral context for learning in schools from kindergarten through high school.
Social-Behavioral began as a topic area in fiscal year (FY) 2008 following an earlier IES investment in a multi-site evaluation of social and character development programs. The primary question for the multi-site evaluation was: can universal school-based programs that aim to promote positive social skills and character improve 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students' social-behavioral competencies and academic achievement relative to typical school practice?
Three important findings emerged:
Why didn't these well-designed, evidence-based programs have their intended impacts? Do schools really engage in social-behavioral practices in the absence of formal programs? Questions like these led NCER to create this topic to learn more about ways to help schools support students' social-behavioral competencies.
The 120 research projects in this portfolio explore, develop, test, or evaluate ways to:
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