A recent quasi-experimental study was conducted by Shi and Cheung to evaluate the effect of an author developed and scripted a social emotional learning program, which based on the Collaborative Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework, on Chinese primary students. Participants were 366 students (boys = 197) from 8 fifth grade classrooms in one primary school in Northern China (4 intervention, 4 control). Outcome measures included five competencies for social emotional skills, namely, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scales was used to identify strength and difficulties of children’s behavior, emotions, and relationships. All scales assessed through self-reported questionnaire.
Students in treatment group attended 12 40-min lessons in fall semester of 2021. After controlling baseline scores and students’ characteristics, results of MANCOVA showed:
- Compared to students in control group, students in treatment group scored significantly higher in self-awareness (ES=+0.37), relationship skills (ES =+0.25), and responsible decision making (ES = +0.25).
- There were no significant differences in terms of self-management (ES = +0.17) and social awareness (ES = +0.17).
- Students in treatment group had significant fewer conduct problems (ES= -0.24).
- In terms of moderation effects, students with lower initial self-awareness were benefit more in improving self-awareness.
- No significant differences of effects were found between gender and between social economic status.
Although the intervention period was short, the study provided evidence for the applicability of a SEL curriculum based on CASEL framework in Chinese context. Moreover, a school based SEL could be a promising approach to improve social emotional skills and reducing conduct problems, that it was developed and implemented taking into account of Chinese culture.
Source: Shi, J., & Cheung, A. C. K. (2022). The impacts of a social emotional learning program on elementary school students in China: A quasi-experimental study. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-022-00707-9