ERIC Number: ED447907
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May
Improving Students' Ability To Problem Solve through Social Skills Instruction.
Hopp, Mary Ann; Horn, Cheryl L.; McGraw, Kelleen; Meyer, Jenny
When elementary and middle level students lack effective problem-solving skills, they may make poor behavior choices in social conflicts, contributing to a negative learning and instructional environment. This action research project evaluated the impact of using social skills instruction to improve students' ability to solve problems related to peer conflict situations. Specific skills taught were listening to each other, articulating their feelings positively, and offering solutions for a "win-win" compromise. Participating in the study were second, fourth, and sixth graders from 3 different rural and suburban schools in three Midwestern cities, a total of 96 students. Students' difficulties in problem solving were documented by means of behavior checklists completed by teachers and student surveys. The 16-week intervention was comprised of 4 components implemented in each classroom setting for 30 minutes weekly: (1) direct teaching of social skills; (2) cooperative learning activities; (3) 3-step peer conflict resolution training; and (4) role playing. Post-intervention findings indicated that the number of I-messages increased and that there were improvements in the students' ability to express their feelings. However, tattling and name calling incidents increased. Decreases were noted in teasing and bullying. Occurrences of physical contact incidents remained the same. (Six appendices include data collection instruments and sample lessons. Contains 57 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Action Research, Behavior Change, Change Strategies, Children, Conflict Resolution, Cooperative Learning, Early Adolescents, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Interpersonal Competence, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Peer Relationship, Problem Solving, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and Skylight Professional Development Field Based Masters Program.