Thesis

The effects of social skills instruction on the behavioral growth of students identified with emotional disturbance in a nonpublic school setting

Students identified with emotional disturbance (ED) have emotional and behavioral needs that impact their ability to be successful in various settings. Many of these students display immature social skills and have difficulty forming relationships. Many also struggle in the general education environment and require a more restrictive setting to progress academically and behaviorally. The purpose of this mixed design study is to explore the effects of social skills instruction on the behavioral growth of students identified with ED in a nonpublic school setting. Although still considered to be limited, research has indicated that implementation of social skills instruction, character education, and lessons that promote classroom communities have a positive effect on classroom performance. This study and the curriculum developed for the study provide a starting point for teachers looking to implement social skills training within their classroom settings. Six social skill lessons in specific areas; working collaboratively, communicating effectively, accepting differences, decision making, communication and managing anger were utilized. Although significant behavioral growth was not indicated as a result of the study, researcher observations noted that social interaction, collaboration, student engagement, and concept attainment was evident. KEYWORDS: Behavioral Growth, Emotional Disturbance (ED), Nonpublic School (NPS), Social Skills

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