Friday, September 12, 2014

Session 1 - Why and How is teaching social skills important in promoting positive school climate?

Social skills cannot be taught in isolation - respect and consideration need to be modelled daily.

Data shows that if you have low levels of discipline referrals, there is likely to be higher academic success.
Social and academic skills need to be taught in conjunction - otherwise neither
 will be effective. 

Academic behaviour and social behaviour need to go hand in hand. 
Embed the social skills in the instruction.
They do not replace each other. 

Violence prevention is about teaching social skills. Positive climate building is about teaching social skills. Employers can teach the skills of the jobs - they need their workers to have the social skills already.

Teaching social skills needs to delivered and formalised. 

What are social skills?
Verbal and overt behaviours that students do.
What students give us, is what they have learned - therefore more likely to become habits.
Behaviours are 'situationally specific' Gresham, 1986
The consequences / social benefits - two groups of responses - peers' and adults' responses. 

Teaching academic and social skills - use the same process - model - reteach if not  successful. How do we teach a social skill - how do we reteach? What reteaching strategies do we have?

Need a simple model for teaching of social skills - need to quick and efficient in order to de-escalate the situation. 

We cannot leave social skills to chance - they accrue over time 
- acquisition - show model 
- fluency - practice
- maintenance - sustain with accuracy and fluency 
- generalisation - can be used across settings - use in new contexts - learn to discriminate
- adaptation - modify and fit into any new contexts 

A good social skills lesson has a name, a context and examples - reinforced at home 

Social skills are like habits - we have good and bad 
Charles Duhigg (2012) The power of habits 

Bad habits are difficult to replace with better behaviours. 

Some kids need more help to require a social skill than others (alarm clock analogy) - some may need that assistance throughout their entire school life.

How do we teach social skills in a differentiated way? This graph is a good image of range of support needed 

Understand functional assessments - in order to teach targeted social skills.

Teach the social skills like academic skill
Train for automaticity
Supervise social skills
Establish networks that maintain social skills
Resond to higher needs

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