Program

Sep 21, 2011

OVERVIEW

Social Cognitive
Education programs are designed to focus children on certain phases of their
developmental processes so as to promote positive growth in social development.
For this particular program, the focus was primarily on developing interpersonal
conceptions, which refers to a child’s judgment and problem-solving in social
situations. An evaluation of the program found that students in the treatment
program had significantly higher scores on interpersonal conceptions and on one
level of moral judgment. Marginally significant differences were found for two
other levels of moral judgment, but no differences were found for the remaining
two levels and no differences were found for social problem-solving skills and
general vocabulary skills.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target
Population:
Adolescent students

This social
cognitive education program is a school-based, 22-week curriculum. Sixth grade
students meet twice each week for 45-minute sessions and participate in two
types of alternating activities. First, pairs of sixth graders teach four or
five first graders how to better understand others by presenting stories that
involve interpersonal conflicts. The first-grade teacher and two graduate
students supervise this portion of the program. For the second session, the
graduate students meet with the sixth graders to discuss and ask them questions
about the interactions that they had with the first grade students. These
questions are designed to focus the sixth grade students on social development
processes, through which, according to the model, they should be learning about
social interaction. Certain questioning methods are used by the graduate
students depending on individual circumstances. For example, if a sixth grade
student’s behavior is not consistent with their perception of the interaction,
the graduate student will point this out to the sixth grader. Sixth graders are
also asked about the contents of the stories that they told the first graders,
so that they can think about interpersonal conflicts in which they are not
directly, emotionally invested.

EVALUATION(S) OF
PROGRAM

Evaluated
population:
A total of twenty-four sixth graders from one classroom in a
large Midwestern city were selected to participate in the study. Demographic
characteristics of the sample were not provided, but there were no differences
found between groups in terms of gender.

Approach:
The sample of 24 was stratified by gender and6 female and 6 male
participating students were randomly assigned to the experimental group (N=12);
the remaining students were placed into the control group (N=12). Control
conditions consisted of meeting twice a week for 22 weeks, in 45-minute
sessions, to participate in academic group activities.

To assess the
effectiveness of the treatment, researchers measured outcomes that included
interpersonal conceptions, social problem-solving skills, moral judgment, and
vocabulary skills. Data were collected approximately one week before the
program started and one week after program completion, for all outcome measures
except for vocabulary, which was only measured at post-test.

Results:
Following the conclusion of the program, the experimental group was found to
have significantly higher interpersonal conception scores and scores on moral
judgment level 2 than the control group. Marginally significant positive
differences for the experimental group were also found for moral judgment levels
1 and 3, but no differences were found between groups on moral judgment levels 4
and 5, or on vocabulary, or social-problem solving. Overall, students went up
one level in terms of interpersonal conceptions.

SOURCES FOR MORE
INFORMATION

References

Enright, R. D.
(1980). An integration of social cognitive development and cognitive processing:
Educational applications. American Educational Research Journal, 17(1),
21-41

KEYWORDS:
Children, Adolescents, Middle School, Males and Females (Co-ed), School-Based,
Tutoring, Skills Training, Social Skills/Life Skills

Program
information last updated 9/21/11

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