Social and emotional learning (SEL) is necessary for the academic achievement of a student and for their future success in many aspects of their lives. Ensuring that SEL is taught with fidelity is a goal for many schools and depends not only on instructional support, but other factors such as years of teaching, and rigorous classroom management. —Shekufeh Monadjem
The Importance of Social and Emotional Learning
Students learn best when they are in a caring and safe environment, where they have trusting relationships with their teachers and peers. These relationships promote the development of social and emotional skills that are crucial for “academic achievement and life success.”1 In their study, Thierry, Vincent, and Norris (2022) explained that in order to foster social and emotional learning (SEL) among students, they suggest using the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development’s (2018) recommendations for districts and schools. One of these recommendations is the adoption of an evidence-based SEL curriculum for the explicit instruction of social and emotional skills.
The Importance of Using Fidelity When Implementing Curriculum
One major factor to consider when introducing a new curriculum is ensuring that it is being used with fidelity, in order for students to make the maximum gains. A number of research reviews confirm that SEL curricula when implemented with “high levels of fidelity are more likely to improve students’ social-emotional competence and academic performance.”2
Other important factors are the socio-emotional competency levels of teachers and their ability to build positive relationships with students. This is based on five core competencies:
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making
Building positive relationships with students requires teachers to be skilled in all competencies.
Sixty pre-kindergarten to 1st-grade teachers participated in this US-based study from 7 schools. 52% of the participants were African-American, 30% White, and 18% Hispanic. The following teacher-level predictors were examined over the period of the first month in which the curriculum was implemented: “1) teacher demographics, including ethnicity/race and years of teaching experience; 2) self-efficacy for managing classroom behavior; 3) emotional support; 4) classroom organization; and 5) instructional support.”
The scoring system used was the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), which has shown to be a valid and reliable tool that “essentially operationalizes positive teacher-student relationships according to specific interactions that teachers have in capturing the following three domains of teacher-student interactions: (1) emotional support, (2) classroom organization, and (3) instructional support.”3 Independent observers assessed teachers on these interactions during the initial month of the curriculum.
Teachers with “greater pre-implementation classroom management self-efficacy and more teaching experience had higher adherence to the curriculum” and therefore had higher levels of fidelity. Hispanic teachers who taught bilingual classes were less likely than White, non-Hispanic teachers to adhere to the curriculum schedule, as they needed more implementation support to match their caseload. Instructional support proved to be the only positive predictor of the quality of lesson delivery.
Limitations of the Study
One limitation of the study was the small sample size, and another was that only the initial fidelity of the first month of the implementation of the curriculum was measured, not the long-term delivery.
Thierry, K. L., Vincent, R. L., & Norris, K. (2022). Teacher-level predictors of the fidelity of implementation of a social-emotional learning curriculum. Early Education and Development, 33(1), 92-106.
Summary by: Shekufeh Monadjem – Shekufeh believes that the MARIO Framework builds relationships that enable students to view the world in a positive light as well as enabling them to create plans that ultimately lead to their success.
- Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M., & Crowley, M. (2015). Early social emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness. Journal of Public Health, 105(11), 2283–2290.
- Derzon, J. H., Sale, E., Springer, J. F., & Brounstein, P. (2005). Estimating intervention effectiveness: Synthetic projection of field evaluation results. Journal of Primary Prevention, 26(4), 321–343.
- Burchinal, M., Vandergrift, N., Pianta, R. C., & Mashburn, A. J. (2010). Threshold analysis of association between child care quality and child outcomes for low-income children in pre-kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(2), 166–176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2009.10.004
While the COVID-19 pandemic created a so-called “new normal” for social inclusion and interactions, particularly in schools where socializing is key for student progress, this study raises the question of whether new means of communication actually improved student efficacy and communication due to the altered norms of school life. —Frankie Garbutt
What Social Inclusion Lessons Can We Learn from the Pandemic?
In this article, Beaton (Leeds Beckett University), Codina (University of Derby), and Wharton (University of Winchester) set out to analyse how the pandemic of 2020 affected the social inclusion of children with learning disabilities in England. They strove to find lessons which could be learnt from this unique situation to inform future practices and success.
The authors outline that by “drawing on the work of Simplican et al., (2015),1 this paper chooses to adopt an ecological pathways approach to social inclusion, reflexively analyzing how ‘individual,’ ‘interpersonal’ and ‘organizational’ variables influence ‘interpersonal relationships’ and ‘community participation’ for children with learning disabilities.” To gather data, “semi-structured interviews were conducted with six key stakeholders. As the phenomenon in question was new, an inductive approach to thematic analysis was applied.”
Pandemic Effects on Social Interaction
The analysis of the data allowed the researchers to identify that teachers and students embraced the new means of communication as this allowed for greater student agency in contrast to traditional means of communication in a school setting. For example, learners who identified as selectively mute used chat functions to find their voice or chose to switch cameras on or off during lessons. This resulted in improved connectedness. Equally, video conferences were an effective tool in the collaboration and involvement of parents/children and external professionals in decision-making processes like evaluation meetings. “Drawing on Simplican et al.’s (2015)1 analysis of social inclusion, structurally moving the location, intensity and formality of family liaison appears in some cases to have deepened the ‘bond’ between family and school, which arguably increases trust reciprocity and confidence.”
Increase in Parental Insight and Advocacy
Moreover, it was found that parents gained insight into their child’s learning and a more accurate representation of their skills due to their participation in the classroom during home learning. Consequently, parents and children were able to advocate for different means of learning support or increase their children’s level of independence because their Teaching Assistant, on whom they may have previously relied, was no longer available.
Nonetheless, the authors also highlight that “the nature of the pandemic has meant [that] many of the efficacious elements described in this paper rely on families and professionals possessing digital capability and capital.” Therefore, being aware of the availability of devices, access to the internet, or other necessary resources can enhance or hinder the social inclusion of stakeholders.
Conclusively, the study outlines changes for children with learning disabilities through “increased power/agency for them and their families and/or new modes of connectedness leading to enhanced relationships with key stakeholders and timeliness of reviews.” The authors concede that the small sample size may limit the generalizability of their conclusions.
Beaton, M. C., Codina, G. N., & Wharton, J. C. Decommissioning normal: COVID-19 as a disruptor of school norms for young people with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2021; 49: 393– 402. https://doi.org/10.1111/bld.12399
Summary by: Frankie Garbutt – Frankie believes that the MARIO Framework encourages students to become reflective, independent learners who progress at their own rate.
Researchers Mhairi C. Beaton, Geraldene N. Codina, and Julie C. Wharton participated in the final version of this summary.
- Simplican, S., Leader, G., Kosciulek, J., & Leahy, M. (2015). Defining social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: An ecological model of social networks and community participation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38, 18–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.008
Temptation can hamper engagement and perseverance directed towards a specific task and cause distractions that can impact the learning process of a student. One way to maintain motivation for a given task is to allow students to choose their tasks and activities based on their interests. Another way is to foster self-efficacy, which enables the student to believe that they are capable of maintaining a high level of motivation and focus. —Shekufeh Monadjem
Attractive Alternatives: Temptation vs Engagement
When working on important tasks, there are always attractive alternatives that tempt us away from our work, be it social media, talking to a friend or even cleaning the house. In their study, Kim,Y., (Washington University), Yu, S.L., (Ohio State University) and Shin, J. (Seoul National University) explored how the effects of self-efficacy can impact the notion of temptation over a period of time. “As students’ learning does not happen in a vacuum, target tasks should be examined in relation to the distracting tasks to better depict motivational challenges that students face within the educational context.”1
“When the attractiveness of an alternative exceeds that of the current task, students feel tempted, and the motivation for the alternative rises.”2 Even if students have high motivation for a certain academic task, they may not engage in the learning if there is another task that is more motivating or attractive to them.
Researchers suggest that the presence of temptation can hamper engagement and perseverance towards a given task by distracting the student to the extent that it will adversely affect their learning process. Milyavskaya and Inzlicht (2017) “found that simply experiencing temptation led to depletion and lower goal attainment.”3 Fries and Dietz (2007) “suggested that the negative impact of temptations comes from lowering motivation for the learning activity. Students often succumb to temptation and fall into the trap of task-switching or procrastination.”4
Self-Regulated Learning and Student Motivation
Self-regulated learning (SRL) can improve “the ability to concentrate on the target task in the presence of tempting alternatives”5 Self-regulated learners are more likely to maintain their motivation and sustain their engagement on a current task, instead of being distracted by other alternatives.
The current study focused on the aspect of self-efficacy for SRL, which is a crucial aspect of SRL. “Abundant evidence suggests the strong link between self-efficacy, motivation, and performance. If students perceive themselves as capable of planning, managing, and regulating their own academic activities, they are more likely to have higher confidence in learning and mastering their activities.” Previous research suggests that higher levels of self-efficacy for SRL can contribute to “higher academic self-efficacy, higher achievement, and less school dropout.”6
One way to maintain student motivation is to allow students to make their own choices and decisions. “It is important to provide meaningful choice opportunities to students to promote their interest, on-task engagement, and persistence.”7 Teachers have also realised that choice provides students a sense of responsibility and self-control, thus making students more involved and engaged in academic activities. This is especially important and effective for students with low interest or SRL skills.
Kim, Y. E., Yu, S. L., & Shin, J. (2021). How temptation changes across time: effects of self-efficacy for self-regulated learning and autonomy support. Educational Psychology, 1-18.
Summary by: Shekufeh Monadjem—Shekufeh believes that the MARIO Framework builds relationships that enables students to view the world in a positive light as well as enabling them to create plans that ultimately lead to their success.
Academic researcher Yeo-eun Kim participated in the final version of this summary.
- Hofer, M. (2010). Adolescents’ development of individual interests: A product of multiple goal regulation? Educational Psychologist, 45(3), 149–166.
- Hofer, M. (2007). Goal conflicts and self-regulation: A new look at pupils’ off-task behaviour in the classroom. Educational Research Review, 2(1), 28–38.
- Milyavskaya, M., & Inzlicht, M. (2017). What’s so great about self-control? Examining the importance of effortful self-control and temptation in predicting real-life depletion and goal attainment. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(6), 603–611.
- Fries, S., & Dietz, F. (2007). Learning in the face of temptation: The case of motivational interference. The Journal of Experimental Education, 76(1), 93–112.
- Baumann, N., & Kuhl, J. (2005). How to resist temptation: The effects of external control versus autonomy support on self-regulatory dynamics. Journal of Personality, 73(2), 443–470.
- Caprara, G. V., Fida, R., Vecchione, M., Del Bove, G., Vecchio, G. M., Barbaranelli, C., & Bandura, A. (2008). Longitudinal analysis of the role of perceived self-efficacy for self-regulated learning in academic continuance and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(3), 525–534.
- Black, A. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The effects of instructors’ autonomy support and students’ autonomous motivation on learning organic chemistry: A self-determination theory perspective. Science Education, 84(6), 740–756.
Have you ever thought back on your favorite teacher who had a big influence on your life? Or, maybe, there was a teacher who made you feel useless and terrible. For students with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) symptoms, their connection with teachers and the memories they have about them later on in their life may predict their perceived social support and self-efficacy. People with ADHD symptoms have lower self-efficacy compared to people without ADHD symptoms. Therefore, we cannot ignore how powerful our words and actions can be in the classroom, as they may impact our students’ lives for a very long time. —Michael Ho
ADHD Severity and Self-Efficacy
Schmidt-Barad, Asheri, and Margalit (2021) investigated the relationship between severity levels of ADHD symptoms and self-efficacy. They also examined the mediating role of positive and negative memories of teachers and social support on this relationship. There were two main hypotheses for this study:
1) The severity levels of ADHD symptoms predict self-efficacy.
2) Memories of both ‘good teachers’ and ‘bad teachers’ and perceptions of social support will mediate the relationship between the severity of ADHD symptoms and self-efficacy outcomes.
Literature Review Takeaways
- Since many students with ADHD have impulsive and disruptive behavior, they may experience negative and unstable relationships with their teachers. They typically consider their teachers as controlling, and their relationships as negative and challenging.1
- Schmidt-Barad et al. (2021) quotes Brinkworth et al. (2018), “student-teacher interrelations may stay as long-term memories, and teachers’ words may continue ringing in the students’ mind, affecting their self-efficacy as a competence indicator even many years afterwards.”2
- Children and adolescents with ADHD who have experienced consistent difficulties during their studies often develop low self-efficacy, in addition to future low motivation, reduced success, and depleted effort investment.
- Among students with ADHD, Schmidt-Barad et al. (2021) quotes Babinski et al., (2020) in stating that “their parents experience higher levels of prolonged caregiver strain that predict depressive mood.”3 Since their parents are spending a lot of time dealing with their own mental health, they would have less energy and time to support their children and hence their children may experience perceptions of reduced support.
- 319 adult participants between the ages of 18 and 35 volunteered to participate in the research. Participants responded to online questionnaires posted on Israeli social media as well as online students’ bulletin boards and Dean of Students’ boards across Israeli colleges.
- Results indicated that individuals with “higher levels of [ADHD] symptoms reported lower levels of self-efficacy, lower support from family and friends, more memories of bad teachers, and fewer memories of good teachers.”
- It was found that the higher the severity of ADHD symptoms, the lower the self-efficacy. Not only did ADHD symptoms predict more negative memories of teachers but they also predicted less positive memories.
- Both family support and positive memories of the ‘good’ teacher predicted support from friends and eventually self-efficacy. Memories of interactions with teachers may influence one’s self-efficacy and perceived social support long after graduating from school.
Firstly, this is a correlational research study, so there are concerns about causality among the research variables. In addition, the students’ memories of teachers may not be accurate; their perceptions may also be subjective. Finally, there are significantly fewer male participants from one geographical location; therefore, a more balanced gender proportion of international samples may enable more generalization of the results.
Schmidt-Barad, T., Asheri, S., & Margalit, M. (2021). Memories and self-efficacy among adults with attention deficit disorder symptoms. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 1-15.
Summary by: Michael Ho—Michael supports the MARIO Framework because it empowers learners to take full control of their personalized learning journey, ensuring an impactful and meaningful experience.
Academic researcher Dr. Malka Margalit participated in the final version of this summary.
- Rogers, D. C., A. J. Dittner, K. A. Rimes, and T. Chalder. (2017). “Fatigue in an Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Population: A Trans-diagnostic Approach.” British Journal of Clinical Psychology 56 (1): 33–52. doi:10.1111/bjc.12119.
- Brinkworth, M. E., J. McIntyre, A. D. Juraschek, and H. Gehlbach. (2018). “Teacher-student Relationships: The Positives and Negatives of Assessing Both Perspectives.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 55: 24–38. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2017.09.002.
- Babinski, D. E., J. R. Mazzant, B. M. Merrill, D. A. Waschbusch, M. H. Sibley, E. M. Gnagy, B. S. G. Molina, and W. E. Pelham Jr. (2020). “Lifetime Caregiver Strain among Mothers of Adolescents and Young Adults with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder.” Journal of Family Psychology 34 (3): 342–352. doi:10.1037/fam0000609.
While equal rights of participation of children with disabilities in education is uncontested from an ideological standpoint, the degree to which it succeeds in any context is highly dependent on a number of factors. In Israel, “higher perceived knowledge of inclusion policy and higher perceived school support of inclusion were both related to higher [teacher] self-efficacy regarding inclusion, which, in turn, was related to more positive attitudes about inclusion.” (Werner et al., 2021) —Akane Yoshida
Effects of Teacher Self-Efficacy
Self-efficacy—an individual’s belief in their own capacity to demonstrate the behaviors necessary to achieve their goals1—has significant implications in teaching, where it affects teachers’ abilities to create a positive learning environment and provide effective instruction. Teachers with low self-efficacy are more likely to blame students for poor progress and be less adaptable with their teaching methods.
For their study, Werner et al. surveyed over 300 teachers working in general education and special education settings in Israel, with the aim of examining the following issues in relation to inclusion (here, defined as the “modification and preparation of the school system in order to accommodate for the needs of children with disabilities”):
- Are there associations between teacher self-efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion?
- Are there differences in attitudes towards inclusion between general education and special education teachers?
- Would greater knowledge of local and national-level policy in relation to inclusion, as well as school support for inclusion, have a positive association with teacher self-efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion?
Teacher Attitudes Towards Inclusion and Self-Efficacy
The researchers’ findings were as follows:
- “Greater familiarity with local- and national-level inclusion policy was associated with greater self-efficacy, and the latter was associated with teacher perception of their professional roles and functions, cognitive, affective and behavioral attitudes.”
- This association between self-efficacy and positive attitudes towards inclusion might also associate in the opposite direction, meaning that teachers who reported more positive attitudes had a tendency to report greater self-efficacy.
- Greater school support of inclusion is directly associated with greater teacher self-efficacy and more positive teacher attitudes towards inclusion, suggesting the importance of leadership in fostering competence in school staff through ongoing training in inclusive education.
While these findings show encouraging links between the factors that lead to teacher self-efficacy, additional findings demonstrate that more proactive steps must be taken in the Israeli context in order for these connections to prove fruitful in furthering inclusive education. Only 21% of participants reported receiving any inclusion training. Furthermore, teachers rated their attitudes towards students with disabilities in inclusive settings, as well as the efficacy of inclusive practices, as “relatively low” and rated their knowledge of inclusion policy as “quite low.”
As Werner et al. conclude, “there can be no policy without a supportive ideology, and no praxis without supportive policy.” The researchers suggest that future studies not only examine teacher attitudes towards inclusion but also their actual practice.
Werner, S., Gumpel, T. P., Koller, J., Wiesenthal, V., & Weintraub, N. (2021). Can self-efficacy mediate between knowledge of policy, school support and teacher attitudes towards inclusive education?. PloS one, 16(9), e0257657.
Summary by: Akane Yoshida — Akane believes in the MARIO Approach because it puts student agency at the heart of the learning and goal-setting process. She loves how the MARIO Framework operationalizes this process and utilizes systematic measurement of student learning and teacher effectiveness to guide interventions.
- Carey, M. & Forsyth, A. (2009). “Teaching tip sheet: self-efficacy”. APA. https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/education/self-efficacy.
There appears to have been a decline in self-esteem and self-efficacy among teachers forced to make a rapid switch to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the cases of teachers working closely with students with learning disabilities. —Shekufeh Monadjem
The importance of relationships, and in particular those in school settings, is a theme that has begun to come to the forefront in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cataudella et al. (2021) from the University of Cagliari in Italy investigated how the pandemic has affected teachers’ self-esteem and self-efficacy while trying to maintain meaningful relationships with their students.
The sudden shift from face-to-face learning to online learning has “made policy-makers and educators realise the importance of human socioemotional aspects in the relationships between teachers and students”. Teachers suddenly had to deliver their lessons using technological tools, including specific online platforms, in order to reach their students.
Although some teachers were ready to face the situation, a large majority had to adapt their teaching in a short time “without training, with insufficient capacity, and little preparation.” As a result, students became deprived of social, face-to-face interaction among their peers, and teachers and parents were forced to be more involved because of the need for monitoring school lessons at home.
Teacher Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy: Measurement and Results
The research in this article focused on the self-esteem and self-efficacy levels of the teachers, respectively defined as an “individual’s consideration of his/her own self as competent and important, as well as perceiving oneself as successful and valuable” and “a person’s conviction in their ability to succeed in a particular situation.” Job satisfaction levels were measured among the teachers, as well as psychological, physiological, and environmental conditions that can generally guarantee positive feelings towards work,1 which, in turn, increase the rate of productivity and sense of well-being. “Among the variables found in the literature, self-esteem and self-efficacy were found to play an important role in job satisfaction and in the ability to meet or address changes.” The variables which had an effect on teachers’ job satisfaction were also found to have an effect on teacher-student and teacher-parent communication, as well as the aspect of collaboration.
The results of this study “showed lower self-esteem and lower self-efficacy levels in the teachers who were involved with distance learning as compared with the normative sample.” Self-esteem and self-efficacy also decreased in teachers with greater service seniority at work, and it was usually these teachers who supported students with learning disorders. A consistent supportive context was present for the majority of students with learning disabilities who were successful in their online learning environment. This aspect of providing remote support, which added extra stress, resulted in the decline in job satisfaction rates among teachers in senior positions.
Cataudella, S., Carta, S. M., Mascia, M. L., Masala, C., Petretto, D. R., Agus, M., & Penna, M. P. (2021). Teaching in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: A pilot study on teachers’ self-esteem and self-efficacy in an Italian sample. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(15), 8211.
Summary by: Shekufeh – Shekufeh believes that the MARIO Framework builds relationships that enable students to view the world in a positive light as well as empowering them to create plans that ultimately lead to their success.
- Baluyos, G. R., Rivera, H. L., & Baluyos, E. L. (2019). Teachers’ job satisfaction and work performance. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7(08), 206.
This research analyzed the network of psycho-social influences through which efficacy beliefs affect academic achievement. Parents’ sense of academic efficacy and aspirations for their children were linked to their children’s scholastic achievement through their perceived academic capabilities and aspirations. Children’s beliefs in their efficacy to regulate their own learning and academic attainments, in turn, contributed to scholastic achievement both independently and by promoting high academic aspirations and prosocial behavior and reducing vulnerability to feelings of futility and depression. Children’s perceived social efficacy and efficacy to manage peer pressure for detrimental conduct also contributed to academic attainments but through partially different paths of affective and self-regulatory influence. The impact of perceived social efficacy was mediated through academic aspirations and a low level of depression. Perceived self-regulatory efficacy was related to academic achievement both directly and through adherence to moral self-sanctions for detrimental conduct and problem behavior that can subvert academic pursuits. Familial socioeconomic status was linked to children’s academic achievement only indirectly through its effects on parental aspirations and children’s prosocialness. The full set of self-efficacy, aspirational, and psychosocial factors accounted for a sizable share of the variance in academic achievement.
Bandura et al.’s study of the connection between external influences, self-efficacy, and academic achievement informs how MARIO prepares the educator and parent to support the learner’s development of self-efficacy. Aspects of this discussion are also incorporated into MARIO diagnostic tools because understanding the power of a student’s perception of self-efficacy is imperative to the work we do.
This article presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from four principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. The more dependable the experiential sources, the greater are the changes in perceived self efficacy. A number of factors are identified as influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arising from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. Possible directions for further research are discussed.
This study has informed how intrinsic motivation and the development of self-efficacy are supported in the MARIO Framework. Bandura’s framework directly relates to the intentional design of personalized goal setting, feedback cycles, self-assessment and self-reflective practices as well as the choice of high-Impact learning strategies found throughout the MARIO Framework.