DEVELOPING SOCIO-EMOTIONAL COMPETENCIES OF PRESCHOOLERS IN ROMANIA: THE EFFICACY OF SELF KIT PROGRAM
Babes Bolyai University (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In the last two decades many kindergarten teachers and school psychologist have noticed a worrying increase of unhealthy emotions and behaviors in educational setting. Anxiety, depression, bully, impulsivity, are just a few of the problems that teachers, parents and children are confronted with. It is obvious that students who display such conduct represent a real challenge for teachers, parents and especially for school and clinical psychologists. The long-term consequences upon the school performance, psycho-somatic health and social integration of these students are alarming. Looking for the pertinent solutions and based on our 10 years experience with CBT counseling programs, we developed the SELF KIT program. SELF KIT (Social-Emotional Learning Facilitator KIT) is a special REBE (rational -emotive and behavioral education) program that was elaborated by a team of Psychologists and Pedagogues from Cluj Napoca, Romania (university teaching staff and practitioners), who work in the cognitive-behavioral (CBT) intervention paradigm. Due to its structure, content and implementation strategies, the SELF-KIT can be easily adapted to diverse socio-cultural and educational (curricular) contexts. Additionally, the typology and difficulty level of activities are selected based on the cognitive and socio-emotional profile of children at different ages. In the present study we assumed to demonstrate that SELF KIT is efficient in developing social and emotional competencies in children aged 4 to 6 years old. In order to do that, first, preschool children (N=180) were assessed with PedA (Platform of Child Development Evaluation) to identify the cognitive- socio -emotional profile of children. Then an 8 weeks intervention program (SELF KIT) was implemented. Soon after that intervention the same dimension (cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral) were assessed. Using a 3x2 design, (intervention type vs. team expertise) our results, analyzed with ANOVA, showed that emotional and social-emotional competencies significantly improve after the program implementation (p<0.05) and the frequency of conduct disorders decreased (p<0.05). We consider that the data collected in this pilot study, represent strong arguments in supporting the viability and ecological validity of SELF KIT program. A primary school version of SELF KIT program is presented.
Keywords: Rational-emotive and behavioral education, mental health, SELF KIT program, therapeutic stories, rational games, psychological counseling.