Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to school and ready to learn social and emotional skills

Sara Rimm-Kaufmann, UVa Curry School of Education researcher
Creating a classroom environment where learning goes beyond the three "r's" to include social and emotional development has a reciprocal affect on student academic achievement. In the study, "Efficacy of the Responsive Classroom Approach: Results from a Three Year, Longitudinal Randomized Controlled Trial," researchers Sara Rimm-Kaufman (University of Virginia), Ross A. Larsen (University of Virginia), Alison A. Baroody (University of Virginia), Timothy Curby (George Mason University), Michelle Ko (University of Virginia), Julia B. Thomas (University of Virginia), Eileen G.Merritt (University of Virginia), Tashia Abry (Arizona State University), and Jamie DeCoster (University of Virginia), looked specifically at Responsive Classroom (RC), a widely-used social and emotional learning intervention. Rimm-Kaufmann reported in this article posted to the Science Daily website that academic gains were found among all socio-economic groups. "The success of many curricula, including those that map onto the Common Core expectations, require that teachers use effective classroom management and develop student confidence and autonomy," said Rimm-Kaufman. "Our trial of the Responsive Classroom approach suggests that teachers who take the time to foster relationships in the classroom and support children's self-control actually enhance student achievement."
"In a time of intense academic demands, many critics question the value of spending time on teaching social skills, building classroom relationships and supporting student autonomy," said Rimm-Kaufman. "Our research shows that time spent supporting children's social and emotional abilities can be a very wise investment." 

Snap Judgements: Race, Religion, and Age

People are like library books, sorted into different shelves because of what they look like, where they come from, what they believe, and how old they are. It's how we make sense of the world. The problem with the organization scheme is that there seems to be an implicit hierarchy, giving some categories more preferable shelves than others. In the Psychological Science article "The Rules of Implicit Evaluation by Race, Religion, and Age," UVa researcher Jordan Axt, with the assistance of Brian Nosek and Charles Ebersole, used the Brief Implicit Association test to measure individuals' quick reactions to images and text as a way of determining their bias towards race, religion, and age. The results indicated that after the individual picked their own group as the top preference, the remaining groups consistently fell into the same order. For example, if the individual was Asian, he would categorically pick positive associations with Asians but for the remaining races they were ordered in the following order with the most preferential first: Whites, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics. Regardless of the individual's race, the remaining races were always listed in that order. For additional information and interviews, check out this article on the Daily Progress website.