O1 - Analysis Report

Research conducted on socio-emotional learning demonstrates that significant improvements of socio-emotional skills lead to significant improvements of academic performance. Based on such findings, the I-YES project sought to identify the main socio-emotional skill needs and deficits of the students within the organizations taking part in the project and use these findings to design and implement innovative SEL techniques. The final objective was to reduce school failure through the improvement of classroom behavior and social competence, increases of student's attentiveness, student's deeper commitment to school and increased time devoted to school work.

    The research tasks were accomplished by developing both quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments. Student questionnaires were applied to 263 individuals and student focus groups gathered information form another 113 individuals. Similarly, teacher questionnaires were applied to 155 individuals, whereas teacher focus groups collected data from another 38 individuals.  Thus, we interviewed a total of 569 students and teachers from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Romania. The questionnaires and the focus groups used in the I-YES project have been developed by taking into consideration both previous research and the specific objectives of the project.  These instruments were designed to collect data both through auto-evaluation (i.e., teenagers’ own evaluations of their SES) and hetero-evaluation (teachers’ assessment of students SES).  This approach resulted in different sets of items for teenagers and teachers that collected information not only about the four major SES clusters but also about behavioural problems at school, school atmosphere, and other important attitudes toward school and learning.

    The analysis of the results showed that the main emotional needs of the students concern: (1) self-management skills (i.e., issues related to the onset, offset and psychological consequences of emotions, as well as the lack of knowledge about emotions); (2) school interest (the most relevant issues here related to the behaviour of teachers and the negative influence of peers); (3) self-awareness (especially issues related to deficiencies in self-confidence and self-esteem); (4) well-being at schools (students were significantly less content with their experiences at school than with other aspects of their social life).

Furthermore, our data confirmed that socio-emotional skills have a significant impact on school related behaviours and perceptions. Specifically, we found that training socio-emotional skills is likely to be associated to increases in positive school related attitudes (e.g., school interest) and decreases in negative school related behaviours (e.g., skipping classes).  The socio-emotional skills with the strongest impact proved to be: perseverance  (higher perseverance was associated to less frequent mild and serious behavioural issues and to increased school interest and well-being at school), self-control (stronger self-control was associated to less frequent serious behavioural issues and to increased school interest and well-being at school), self-esteem (high self-esteem was associated to increased school interest and well-being at school), perception of the school atmosphere (students who perceived a greater negative school atmosphere tended to report more serious behavioural issues), perception of parental support (this variables was one of the most important inhibitor of negative behaviours at school), and perception of teacher attitudes (positive teacher attitude was one of the most important stimulators of school interest and well-being at school).

Based on these findings the I-YES project recommended interventions focused on the highlighted socio-emotional skills and that these interventions should help students learn about emotions, and how to identify, use, and control them.

Find Analysis Report here