Social Training for Kids Doesn’t Improve School Performance

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Programs aimed at improving a child’s character and social skills have almost no positive effect on the behavior and academic performance of elementary school kids, according to the National Center for Education Research.

Over 6,000 third-graders, caregivers, teachers and principals in 84 schools that had Social and Character Development (SACD) programs were studied by the National Center. Researchers found that kids in schools with SACD programs were no different than kids without them, in terms of:

  • Social and emotional competence
  • Behavior
  • Academic performance
  • Perceptions of school climate

The study looked at students in seven programs as the kids moved through third, fourth and fifth grades. It measured things like altruistic and problem behavior, feelings of safety, support for teachers and academic confidence.

Only 2 of 20 students showed any statistical benefits from the programs.

SACD programs teach children how to deal with their feelings and improve other social behaviors. The programs were started under the belief that kids who don’t develop socially will have behavior problems that interfere with successful schooling.

Click here to view the entire study.

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