Target

Improving classroom behavior, attitude toward school, and self-esteem

Participants

Thirty-two boys identified as having discipline problems

Technique

The Discovery curriculum was used. The curriculum consists of three separate elements. In the initial phase, goals were established. These included group cohesiveness, a level of trust and being accepted, and rules for the group. Videotapes, filmstrips, and role-playing exercises were used. During the second component, basic skills and attitudes essential for working with kindergarten children were provided. These sessions helped the boys raise their confidence and better understand small children. The fourth and fifth graders read to and played learning games with the kindergarteners during the final component. After each of these sessions, the school counselor met with the boys for discussion, reflection, and support.

Evaluation

The Distributive Justice Scale measures moral development in children. The School Sentiment Index describes a child's attitude toward school. The Elementary Guidance Behavior Rating Scale rates negative classroom behavior. These were administered as pre- and post-tests. Results indicated that participation in the Discovery program did not promote moral development. The results, however, did support the idea that the program could improve students' attitudes toward school. Some decrease in inappropriate behaviors was supported by qualitative data.

Source

Blake, K.J. & Gerler, E.R. (1994) .Discovery: A program for fourth and fifth graders identified as discipline problems. Elementary School Guidance & Counseling, 28, 170-181.

Developer

Judy Nicholson ETSU


Target

Improving attributions and self-competence

Participant

178 children from three Chicago elementary public schools

Technique

Students with learning disabilities and students at risk for referral for special education assessment served as tutors for younger children in a peer tutoring program. The study combined attribution training in a cross-age, peer tutoring program. There was a two condition design. First, there was an attribution-plus strategy training. The second condition was a strategy-only training. The three groups of children in the study were at-risk, average achiever, and learning disabled. Also, the study used both boys and girls. Factors of tutor and tutee were analyzed separately. The students were randomly assigned so that there was a age difference of at least 2 years between tutor and tutees. Children (tutor and tutee) were pretested prior to the training and tutoring sessions. The children were posttested after the final tutoring sessions took place. Each week the tutors were trained in how to respond to the younger children's right and wrong responses, by a graduate assistant. During each peer tutoring session, tutors recorded each time they made an attribution or strategy statement. This helped tutors self-monitor their use of attribution and strategy statements. These statements were also used to see how well tutors followed training instruction.

Evaluation

Tutors and tutees were administered pre-and posttests on the following measures: The Perceived Competence Scale for Children assess children's perceived competence in cognitive, behavioral, athletic, physical appearance, and general self-worth domains; the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children assesses cognitive competence, physical competence, peer acceptance, and maternal acceptance; the Attribution Circle Scale deals with the importance of ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck when they do well or poorly on math, reading, getting along with others, or doing puzzles. The result of this study showed that combining attribution training with peer tutoring had an impact on children's self-perceived competence and to some degree their attributions.

Source

Yasutake, D., Dohrn, E., & Bryan, T. (1996). The effects of combining peer tutoring and attribution training on students' perceived self-competence. Remedial and Special Education, 17, (2), 83-91.

Developer

Gina Sandidge, ETSU


Target

enhancing social-emotional development

Participants

thirty sixth grade students in accelerated mathematics class

Technique

This study involved the use of cooperative learning strategies during math class. The students were placed into teams of four, with one high ability student, two mid-range ability students and one low achieving student on each team. The intent of this intervention was to determine if direct instruction in interpersonal skills would increase self-esteem and improve mathematics achievement. Effective communications and personal responsibility in decision-making were the two areas that were targeted in this instruction. Praising and encouraging team members, listening effectively, asking for help and being a good decision-maker were specific skills the students were taught. Discussion, role-playing and evaluation of other team members' ability to demonstrate these skills were the instructional techniques used. Mathematics instruction was addressed through the use of Jigsaw II, a team learning strategy developed at Johns Hopkins University.

Evaluation

A pretest/post-test method was used to determine effectiveness in this study. To test the mathematics competence, the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) was used. Self-esteem was measured by the Perceived Competence Scale for Children (PCSC). This scale also includes subscales designed to assess cognitive and social competence. All three areas were measured.

Post-test results revealed a gain of greater than 5% on the UCSMP math. General self-esteem scores and social competence scores also had significant gains. Cognitive competence, while showing an increase, was not significant.

Source

Elmore, R. F., & Zenus, V. (1994). Enhancing social-emotional development of middle school gifted students. Roeper Review 16(3), 182 - 185.

Developer

Melissa Presnell, ETSU


Target

the achievement, self-esteem, and social acceptance of high ability students

Participants

thirty- four high ability fifth grade students

Technique

The students were randomly assigned to a cooperative or individualistic learning group. Both groups participated in six 55-minute science classes in which they were taught the unit, "The Interdependence of Living Things" from the Addison-Wesley Level 5 science text.

The students assigned to the cooperative learning group were given instructions to working together. They were encouraged to communicate, share ideas and suggestions, ask questions and listen to each other and help each other master the material.

The students assigned to the individualistic group were given instructions to work independently, avoid communication among students, work hard on the task until completion, ask the teacher for any help they might need, and check all progress with her. Other than these differences instruction was the same. A script was used and observations made to ensure that instruction for the different groups was equal.

Evaluation

Achievement and attitude were the two areas tested during this study. Achievement was measured by the questions from the Addison-Wesley Level 5 science text. Attitude was measured by a by four part scale that measured attitudes on academic self-esteem, cohesion among group members, cooperation among group members, and individualistic effort .

The results show that the members of the cooperative learning group scored better on recall question , higher level thing question, and the total test. These students also had higher feelings of academic self-esteem and more of a sense of cohesion than did the students in the individualistic group.

Source

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Taylor, B. (1993). Impact of cooperative and individualistic learning on high-ability students' achievement, self-esteem, and social acceptance. The Journal of Social Psychology 133(6), 839 - 844.

Developer

Melissa Presnell, ETSU