Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Semester of Degree Completion
Jacqueline E. Jacobs
A peer rating sociometric scale was administered to fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in six different classrooms. The numbers on the Likert-type scale (1-5) were accompanied by smiling or frowning faces for each student to indicate how much he liked to play with each student in his classroom. Teachers also rated students, indicating how much other children like to play with each student. Ratings given by same sex classmates were used to calculate a mean for each student. Teacher ratings and sociometric means were converted to z-scores. These z-scores were added together with each sociometric z-score receiving double weighting. The four girls and four boys with the lowest score from each classroom were selected and randomly assigned to a treatment or control group.
Students in the control group remained in the classroom while students in the treatment group received eight thirty minute training sessions. Prestudent teaching teachers taught students in groups of four. Modeling, coaching, and role playing were used to teach making eye contact, smiling, greeting, introductions, conversation skills, saying "please" and "thank you", asking for help, and complimenting. Homework was assigned in each session. Two observers were used to assure that the training manual was being followed. Two and one-half weeks following training, the peer rating and teacher rating scales were again administered.
Gain scores of ratings received from same sex peers for treatment and control groups were analyzed using a t-test. The results were nonsignificant. Gain scores from pre- to posttest based on ratings received from and given to all peers in the classroom, same sex peers only, and opposite sex peers only, were tested for significance; however, no significant gains were found for the treatment or the control group. Gain scores within the treatment group were also examined with regard to demographic characteristics. Scores were based on ratings received from and given to all peers, same sex peers only, and opposite sex peers only. No significant gains were found for either sex, any grade level, or any classroom. Sex bias was found with same sex ratings being higher than opposite sex ratings. Factors identified as possibly contributing to nonsignificant data include the measurement, the conditions of the training, and the treatment itself.
Thiel, Marsha Calvert, "Social Skills Training in Elementary Children" (1984). Masters Theses. 2832.