Evaluating Social Skills in the Schools


• Research has identified that teaching social skills improves academic performance, student self-esteem and classroom management. R.V. Burke, Ph.D. at Ohio State University in February of 2002, for example, published his study that took data sampling from more than 1000 observations in a public middle school. Roughly 25% of the classrooms had between 10% and 25% of the students off-task due to inappropriate peer interactions. Following the introduction of a program that included social skills training, a significant reduction occurred in classroom and school-wide behavior problems, student time spent off-task and office referrals for disruptive students. Frank Gresham, Ph.D. of the University of California-Riverside concluded from his research in 1997 that “social skills represent a class of behavior that is perhaps the most important and functional for children and youth. Social skills interventions (Furst & Criste, 1997) seem especially important for special needs students.


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