Assessing social and emotional skill development in early elementary students
Rongey, David K.
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Due to the current national discourse on the social and emotional well-being of our students, the examination of student progress and development in the area of social and emotional skills is a critical area of study. To date, limited research has been conducted in this area. For example, there is little documented research on the direct assessment of student skills in the specific social and emotional learning competencies. With the emergence of a new assessment tool from Rush NeuroBehavioral Center (RNBC), schools are now able to gather performance based student assessment data in key areas of social emotional skill development. The current study analyzed assessment data collected via direct assessment of students in the early elementary years using the new web-based tool developed by RNBC (SELweb(TM)).A key component of the study involved sociometric assessment data gathered directly from peers in the classroom. Two rounds of data collected over the course of one school year were utilized to investigate student skill development in two key areas of social and emotional skill: peer connection and non-verbal emotion recognition. The de-identified data was collected from the responses of approximately 300 students in two grade-centered elementary schools in one Illinois public school district. The purpose of this quasi-experimental quantitative study was to investigate the changes in social and emotional skill development for boys and girls across one academic year. Overall the research conducted in this study produced only one statistically significant result. Nonetheless, the implications for school-based use of the new RNCB assessment tool, SELweb(TM), are broad.