ERIC Number: ED434299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-May
Reference Count: N/A
Enhancing Academic Achievement through Direct Instruction of Social Skills.
Bendt, Lori; Nunan, Jan
This paper examines the impact of the explicit teaching of social skills to enhance academic achievement. The targeted population comprised kindergarten and second grade students in a middle-class community located in central Illinois. The problem of inappropriate behaviors and difficulties interacting with peers and how this may affect academic achievement was documented through data collected by observation checklists, social skills inventories, student interviews, and teacher-made criterion-based reference tests. Analysis of probable cause data reveals that society, in general, is changing. Many factors affect children's social development, including negative media, dissolution of the family unit, lack of appropriate instruction, low socioeconomic status, and exposure to a physically and socially toxic environment. A review of solution strategies suggested by knowledgeable others, combined with an analysis of the problem setting, resulted in the selection of four major categories of intervention: explicitly teaching social skills to students, cooperative learning instruction and activities, peer mentoring between the second graders and kindergartners, and implementing multiple intelligence activities in the classroom. Post intervention data indicated an increase in prosocial behavior, a decrease in antisocial behavior, and enhanced academic performance. Appendixes provide data collection instruments, classroom materials, children's literature list, and raw data. (Contains 14 figures, 6 tables, and 40 references.) (Author/MKA)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Activities, Behavior Problems, Cooperative Learning, Elementary Education, Environment, Family Structure, Interpersonal Competence, Intervention, Mass Media Effects, Mentors, Peer Relationship, Primary Education, Role Models, Social Change, Social Environment, Socialization, Socioeconomic Status, Teacher Role, Teachers
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight.