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ERIC Number: EJ845889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1074-2956
Social Skills Training: Teacher Practices and Perceptions
Battalio, Rosemary; Stephens, J. Todd
Beyond Behavior, v14 n2 p15-20 Win 2005
Speaking out without raising a hand, interrupting conversations, refusing to complete work or to follow directions, becoming aggressive toward peers or teachers with the slightest provocation, and generally having poor peer relations are only some of the myriad of problematic behaviors presented in classrooms at any given time. The historical choice of methods to deal with these problematic situations has often relied on reactive approaches that temporarily halt the behavior but that do not provide opportunities to correct or change these behaviors over the long term. One intervention that has had moderate research support is the development of appropriate social skills for students with problematic behaviors, in particular those students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Replacing maladaptive behaviors with more adaptive, acceptable behaviors presents possibilities to limit the overreliance on punitive methods. Additionally, students who develop more acceptable social skills, which can be sustained within a variety of environments, will have more opportunities for success in their lives. In many cases, special and general education teachers struggle with how to support the development of desirable social skills within the time and resource constraints of day-to-day instruction. Teachers struggle to find approaches that will really work and are feasible given their current conditions and constraints that may be present within the school context, such as teacher skills, resources, and time. Extending from the premise that social skills training does offer a proactive opportunity to remediate problematic behavior, the authors examine questions regarding what is really happening in schools, such as how social skills training was being implemented, and the opinions of teachers implementing social skills training. This article reports on a survey that evaluates special education teachers' instruction of and belief about social skills training. The teachers in the study were cognizant of the need for social skills training to guarantee success not only in school but also in future postsecondary environments. For the majority of teachers, direct instruction of some type of social skills training was attempted. Teachers relied on their experience and preferences to select instructional materials. In order to monitor the use of social skills, teachers realistically depended on other teachers to inform them of student success. This practice provided teachers with daily information, but it also fed into the difficulty of generalization. Although not considered a legitimate technique, teachers overwhelmingly selected the "train and hope approach," which promotes teaching social skills with the "hope" that they will be used in other settings. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 7 resources.)
Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201-5704. Tel: 612-276-0140; Fax: 612-276-0142; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A