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Title: The enhancement of social skills in young children through a programme based on developing social relationships : an evaluation
Author: Manson, Iain Munro
ISNI:       0000 0001 3618 4209
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1999
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It Is conventional wisdom to locate cognitive development in a social context. The affective environment of such contexts is relatively under-researched. In the context of the Primary School classroom, considerable experimental evidence exists to suggest that co-operative learning is a potent addition to the teacher's repertoire. However, observational studies suggest co-operative learning is more talked of than undertaken. Process studies of successful co-operative groups suggest that management of group formation is critical to favourable outcome. Social skills are essential to group formation, and form the affective background in which such groups operate. At a more general level, studies of the longitudinal consequences of lack of social skills in the early school years indicate strong correlation to future dysfunction. Presently, the predominant mode of Social Skills Training (SST) is behavioural, individual and remedial. Following Kutnick (1988), this thesis suggests that a an alternative whole-class, developmental, socio-relational approach to SST has distinct advantages. A Year Three Class (eight year-old, N = 42), undertook an Intervention designed on such principles and was compared to a Third Year Control class in the same school. Quantitative and qualitative measures, extensive interview responses to projective tests, were employed. Teacher response was also obtained through the use of a questionnaire. The results, though not wholly positive, indicate support for this form of SST. A subsidiary Intervention was undertaken with two Year One Classes (Five year-old, N = 52) to investigate the relative merits of the elements comprising the Intervention, and to gauge age appropriateness. Results from both these classes were positive. Teacher response was positive in two out of three cases. The Discussion of the results focuses upon the potential of this approach for SST and the subsequent enhancement of pupil's pro-social behaviour both in general and with respect to co-operative group work. The methodology is critically evaluated and recommendations made for improved future studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cognitive development