Enhancing social–emotional development through evidence-based resources

Antoinette White
Monash University                                                                            

Sue Walker
Queensland University of Technology

Social–emotional learning (SEL) programs have demonstrated positive outcomes with universal audiences in several categories. Studies show that teachers are competent at administering such programs, yet there is limited research on educators’ ability to create an effective teaching program that meets SEL educational outcomes. This study explored early childhood educators’ use of an SEL resource and its effect on children’s social–emotional development. Paired sample t tests explored changes to development over an eight-week period, between an intervention (n = 15) and control centre (n = 17). Checklists and journal entries provided insight into the educators’ teaching program and related activities. Findings suggest early childhood educators are capable of designing a teaching program targeting SEL instruction, using evidence-based practices. Results indicate that the resource had a significant effect on children’s social–emotional development, particularly in targeted areas. These findings may assist early childhood educators in their planning, documentation and assessment of SEL outcomes, and may contribute to the literature on SEL in universal education settings.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 43 Number 4 December 2018.

Don’t forget, the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood is tax deductible for early childhood professionals.