03 SES 09 B, Underpinnings of Curriculum Change
The identification of effective curricula and teaching approaches that promote the development of students’ abilities to direct their own learning and engage effectively in the academic learning process is a critically important need across the international community of educators. This presentation will report the results of a randomized controlled trial of Student Success Skills (SSS) (a classroom based school counseling curriculum) to determine its effects on the academic outcomes for participating students. This research project was supported by a $2.7 million grant from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to fully fund a four-year research effort.
The Student Success Skills (SSS) curriculum was developed to systematically teach students fundamental learning, social, and self-management skills that have been demonstrated to link to improved academic achievement outcomes. SSS is based on a strong body of theoretical and empirical research (see Hattie et al., 1996; Masten and Coatworth, 1998; Wang et al., 1994) and uses developmentally appropriate student lessons, activities, and teaching strategies. The curriculum has been widely used in elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States for the past ten years. A meta analysis of the first five studies on the SSS program found an overall student gain on standardized math and reading scores equivalent to an additional full year of learning in math and ½ additional year of learning in reading (Villares, Frain, Brigman, Webb & Peluso, 2012) These five studies have supported the efficacy of the SSS program in impacting academic outcomes for students who participate in the large and small group components of the intervention (Brigman & Campbell, 2003; Brigman, Webb & Campbell, 2007; Campbell & Brigman, 2005; Leon, Villares, Brigman, Webb & Peluso, 2010; Webb, Brigman & Campbell, 2005). Although these studies document the positive outcomes achieved by participation in SSS, a number of important research elements have not been captured by previous studies. The purpose of the proposed project is to allow for rigorous research to evaluate both the proximal and distal outcomes resulting from whole classroom participation in SSS.
SSS skills and strategies through which student outcomes are improved fall into five areas: 1) Goal setting, progress monitoring; 2) Creating a caring, supportive, and encouraging classroom community; 3) Cognitive and memory skills; 4) Performing under pressure and managing anxiety; and, 5) Building healthy optimism.
We hypothesize that student’s participation in the SSS five (45 minute) classroom lessons and a change in teachers’ classroom practices (modeling, cueing, and coaching students to use SSS strategies) will lead to an increase in the use of SSS strategies by students (measured by the Student Engagement in School Success Skills survey. We also hypothesize that there will be an improvement in classroom climate (as measured by the My Class Inventory). As a result of increased SSS strategy use and improved classroom climate, we anticipate that there will be increase in the behavioral engagement, cognitive engagement, self-efficacy, and social competence of students as well as a reduction of test anxiety (measured the Student Participation Questionnaire, the Social Skills Rating System, the Motivation Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, and the Self- Regulated Learning Scale. In addition we hypothesized that there would be an improvement in academic achievement (as measured by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and grades) and student engagement (measured by attendance).
Brigman, G. & Campbell, C. (2003). Helping students improve academic achievement and school success behavior. Professional School Counseling, 7, 91-98. Brigman, G., Webb, L., & Campbell, C. (2007). Building skills for school success: Improving academic and social competence. Professional School Counseling, 10, 279-288. Campbell, C., & Brigman, G. (2005). Closing the achievement gap: A structured approach to group counseling. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 30, 67-82. Hattie, J., Biggs, J., & Purdie, N. (1996). Effects of learning skills interventions on student learning: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 66, 99-130. Leon, A., Villares, E., Brigman, G., Webb, L., & Peluso, P. (2011). Closing the Achievement Gap of Hispanic Students: A School Counseling Response. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 2, 73–86. doi:10.11772150137811400731 Masten, A.S., & Coatworth, J.D. (1998). The development of competence in favorable and unfavorable environments: Lessons from research on successful children. American Psychologist, 53, 205-220. Wang, M.C., Haertel, G.D., & Walberg, H.J. (1994). What helps students learn? Educational Leadership, 51, 74-79. Webb. L., Brigman, G. & Campbell, C. (2005). Linking school counselors and student success: A replication of the Student Success Skills approach targeting the academic & social competence of students. Professional School Counseling, 8, 407-411.
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