As a new school year arrives, teachers face the challenge of ensuring academic success for a range of students with differing abilities and needs. Critical to this success is social-emotional learning (SEL), something children on the autism spectrum struggle with. Students with autism bring a lot to the classroom, but social and emotional challenges often overshadow their strengths and undermine their confidence. Most demonstrate social cognitive deficits in the areas of self-awareness, joint attention, perspective taking, emotional regulation, flexibility, and problem-solving and critical thinking.
In an effort to address these areas of difficulty, educators and curriculum developers at Ivymount School in Rockville, Md., created an in-house assessment tool for helping their student population with higher-functioning autism. But they wanted a more robust system that would help them not only meet the instructional needs of those students, but also support progress monitoring and reporting.
The IvySCIP is that system. In partnership with researcher Eve Müller, PhD, and SEL curriculum supervisor Lynn Cannon, M.Ed., 3C Institute created the IvySCIP, a one-stop shop that helps educators make data-based decisions about all phases of social learning instruction, including strengths and needs assessment, identification of areas most in need of instructional support, and IEP goal development. To meet goals, the IvySCIP also provides a large collection of social learning lesson plans, instructional strategies, and data collection sheets.
Importantly, the IvySCIP focuses on teaching both the necessary skills—the “how” of SEL—and the rationale underlying each of these skills—the “why” of SEL. Recent research suggests that mastering both the “how” and the “why” of SEL secures student buy-in and promotes a deeper understanding of the skills, which in turn promotes behavioral change.
After 10 weeks, educators who used the IvySCIP reported improvement in students’ SEL behaviors on several validated measures. And those students continued to make gains throughout the 20-week intervention. Students whose teachers did not use the IvySCIP failed to make the same gains. Halfway through the intervention, however, IvySCIP was implemented for these students and their outcomes subsequently improved.
Additional research information, as well as purchasing information, is available on the IvySCIP website.