04 SES 12 C, New Approaches to Inclusive Education: An Overview
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an essential element of schooling worldwide, and longitudinal studies have demonstrated a strong positive impact of SEL in childhood on pupils' academic achievement, well-being, and future paths of life (e.g., Jones et al., 2015). Historically, SEL was primarily conceptualized and researched in the United States (see Osher et al., 2016). But in recent years, many programmes and initiatives have been set up worldwide, including a range of curricula in European countries. However, a systematic research into recent SEL programmes and their effectiveness is missing. Do they have a positive impact on students' social skills, on their attitudes and values, on prosocial behaviour, on well-being, and on academic performance? Which programmes work best and why? What are the cross-cultural similarities and differences in the design and effectiveness of SEL programmes (specifically comparing and contrasting the US and Europe)? While there are some promising older meta-analyses (e.g., Durlak et al., 2011 who cover evidence until 2007, 87% of programmes from the US), some promising reviews of studies that focus on one outcome only (e.g., Lösel & Beelman, 2003, who show decrease in aggressive and antisocial behaviour), and some reviews of evidence for one specific country (e.g., Clarke et al., 2015, with evidence for the UK), a comprehensive meta-analysis of programmes of the 21st century is missing.
Addressing this need, the present paper will present findings from a meta-analysis of school-based interventions in the 21st century. As the paper aims to integrate social-emotional learning with developmental frameworks of social and emotional development (e.g., Malti & Noam, 2016; Reicher & Matischek-Jauk, 2018), it focusses on a relatively homogenous developmental stage: middle childhood, which covers primary-school age. The paper focuses on SEL interventions that benefit all pupils and explores factors that lead to success implementation and outcomes. Starting from a comprehensive literature search and identification of high-quality of SEL interventions, the meta-analysis investigates effect sizes and impact on skills, attitudes and values, positive behaviour, well-being, and academic performance. Importantly, recent studies have gone beyond social and emotional outcome variables and explored how SEL can have a positive impact on cognitive development in childhood and adolescence. This will be in the focus of the present paper.
Today's population of pupils is highly diverse. A wide range of successful programmes acknowledges the variety in pupils' abilities and motivations for learning, but still aims to benefit all pupils. Exploring what works and what does not work in the context of diverse learning environments, the findings from the present paper will be relevant to both scientific audiences and actors in the educational sector. The present paper builds on a presentation at the ECER 2018 where first findings were presented and will present in-depth insights along with an integration of findings with developmental processes and trajectories of social-emotional learning.
The present paper uses meta-analysis, which is the statistical method to combine findings from multiple studies and hence systematically draw conclusions that are based on a very large amount of evidence. This meta-analysis is based a literature search where we consider all studies on social and emotional learning programmes in schools that have been published in English language since 2000, covering kindergarten through to high school. The meta-analysis hence looks at a range of outcome variables: skills, attitudes and values, positive behaviour, well-being, and academic performance. Our search with key terms in the most important international literature data bases is complemented with a manual search in existing reviews in the field. This is to avoid the strong emphasis on evidence from the US, which is present in the majority of recent meta-analyses in the field and to include high-quality evidence from Europe and other parts of the world as well. This method has identified several hundred studies, which are further filtered to make sure they meet established quality standards (e.g., inclusion of a control group) and provide the statistics needed (see Schmidt & Hunter, 2015). The final set of studies is then coded and categorised (e.g., per type of programme, outcome, age group, or implementation). Our data analysis reveals effect sizes (i.e., the impact of the programmes) and explores what variables moderate the impact of the programmes (see Durlak et al., 2011). These moderation analyses yield insights into how and for whom SEL programmes are most effective. As key data bases, we identified PSYCINFO, where our initial search yielded 2,755 hits and ERIC, where our initial search yielded 2,965 hits. Our screening and analysis of effect sizes of studies in PSYCINFO is completed already. We plan to have completed the screening and analysis of the studies identified in ERIC for the ECER 2019. We aim to complement the searches in PSYCINFO and ERIC through searches is existing literature reviews in the field (e.g., CASEL, 2019) and aim to present this comprehensive meta-analysis in Hamburg.
This meta-analysis will identify best practice in modern SEL (social and emotional learning) programmes in schools and will show which programmes have the strongest impact on each of the considered outcomes: social skills, values and attitudes, prosocial behaviour, well-being, and academic performance. Going beyond social and emotional outcomes and specifically exploring cognitive benefits of SEL programmes, the meta-analysis will provide novel insights. As steps are taken to avoid the typical focus on research from the US, the findings will be particularly interesting for European researchers. Our search in PSYCINFO yielded 2,755 hits, of which 2,005 articles were published in year 2000 or later. Of those, 943 articles presented programmes in schools. Our screening of titles, abstracts, and full-text based on prespecified eligibility criteria that capture the quality and conceptual requirements, as outlined above, resulted in the inclusion of 54 articles. Of those, 46% presented evaluations of programmes from the US. The other 54% were implemented in countries worldwide, including a range of European countries: Belgium. Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK. The meta-analysis showed small- to medium-sized effects of the programmes on pupils’ social-emotional skills and knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, motivation and self-efficacy, well-being, and academic performance, as well as on school climate. This will be completed through searches in ERIC and existing literature reviews to introduce a stronger educational focus. Our findings will be relevant across the educational sector, as they will reveal which programmes are most beneficial for all students. Our analysis will provide further insights into how programmes can be implemented best to unfold their positive impact. As the findings are relevant for both scientists and for practitioners, wide dissemination is a central objective of this project, and we are working with charities to make the key findings accessible to the public.
CASEL (2019). SEL Research. Retrieved from https://casel.org/research/ Clarke, A.M., Morreale, S., Field, C.A., Hussein, Y., & Barry, M.M. (2015). What works in enhancing social and emotional skills development during childhood and adolescence? A review of the evidence on the effectiveness of school-based and out-of-school programmes in the UK. A report produced by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research, National University of Ireland Galway. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicke, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405-432. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01564.x Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M., & Crowley, M. (2015). Early social-emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 2283-2290. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302630 Lösel, F., & Beelman, A. (2003). Effects of child skills training in preventing antisocial behavior: A systematic review of randomized evaluations. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 587, 84–109. doi: 10.1177/0002716202250793 Malti, T., & Noam, G. G. (2016). Social-emotional development: From theory to practice. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 13, 652-665. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2016.1196178 Osher, D., Kidron, Y., Brackett, M., Dymnicki, A., Jones, S., & Weissberg, R. P. (2016). Advancing the science and practice of social and emotional learning: Looking back and moving forward. Review of Research in Education, 40, 644-681. doi: Reicher, H., & Matischek-Jauk, M. (2018). Sozial-emotionales Lernen in der Schule [Social-emotional learninh in school]. In Huber, M., & Krause, A. (eds.), Bildung und Emotion [Education and Emotion] (pp. 249-268). Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer. Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (2015). Methods of meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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