The Use of the Second Step Curriculum to Teach Resiliency: A Comparative Study of Two Midwestern Classrooms

Date of Award

Fall 12-19-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Courtney LaLonde


Study Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the use of explicitly teaching an accredited social skills curriculum (Second Step) in a classroom with a focus on students who had ACEs (adverse childhood experiences). To conduct this research, Classroom A was explicitly taught a Second Step lesson once a week, whereas Classroom B was not taught the lesson. The study gathered data on the frequency of terminology used from the curriculum when answering interview questions. The interview questions were based on the Second Step scope and sequence, along with informal observations. At the end of the study, a summative assessment was given to see the retention of vocabulary on empathy and skills for learning. The data showed that Classroom A students who received the lesson did 69% better on interview questions than Classroom B, and in the summative assessment, Classroom A showed higher overall scores. The data that was analyzed in this study supports the need for explicitly teaching a social emotional learning curriculum in schools.

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