Both groups were facilitated by CASEN’s consultants. One of the consultants is a speech-language pathologist (speech therapist) and a college professor. The other consultant is a physical therapist. Both ladies have worked with children, and they each have more than twenty years of experience. Both groups of students participating in the study met once a week for an hour.
The Social-Emotional Development course consisted of six lessons, and they were taught over six weeks. The students met weekly, and they were given a PowerPoint and a pre-assessment tool prior to each lesson. The students also received a post-assessment so their knowledge could be tested after each lesson. In addition to the assessments, students filled out a survey scoring the relevancy of the content included in each lesson. The facilitator was used somewhat as a tour guide for the discussions. The children were really the drivers and they all participated and were very engaged in the topics.
To bridge the gap between the Social-Emotional Learning content the children were taught in school to what they experience at home, CASEN Education uses social media platforms. This course used online gaming with friends and strangers to bridge the gap. The students were able to take what they learned over Zoom and relate it to how the same skills should be used while interacting online.
The Zoom platform had children from different states along the East Coast. There were boys and girls who participated, and the children were from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. This was fun to watch as they each brought their unique perspectives to the conversations. As an observer, the children were very engaged in the topics, and they felt safe speaking up. Many of the topics on social-emotional learning had already been presented in school and the children were familiar with the terms. The reported difference between what was taught in the classroom and the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning was that the children had a platform where they were encouraged to speak their feelings and share their emotions concerning the topic. They expressed pleasure in learning how the others perceived the topics.
Kelley Costa is a parent of one of the students and she said, “[CASEN Education] provided a deeper level of insight for the student’s self-awareness on the topic.”
Stacy Casson, another parent, said, “Kids think they know it all. CASEN is an engaging program that helps kids to uncover their blind spots around internet safety. The discovery will help them be better citizens.”
Oliver, a CASEN Connect participant, said, “I learned important topics on perseverance, mindset, and how video games affect the brain. The lessons are engaging and interactive.
After the pilot study ended, CASEN invited all the children within driving distance to meet at a neighborhood Rita’s Water ice to personally hand the children CASEN T-shirts and sweet treats for participating in the study. Some of the children were not available and their shirts were sent to them. The children who were available had the opportunity to meet each other in person and they had a nice time interacting with one another.
CASEN was pleased with the results and the feedback received from the study. The children were asked, on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to take another CASEN course and every child that voted gave an 8-10 score. They all stated that they would recommend the course.
CASEN took the feedback from the consultants and made the appropriate adjustments based on the recommendations. To better align social-emotional learning to the course, CASEN hired Stacey Montgomery of Stacey M. Design Inc. (a company that creates social-emotional learning content, school curriculum, and children’s journals) to assist with the social-emotional learning portion of the lessons to help make it a seamless flow. Once the social-emotional learning piece was solidified, CASEN hired teacher Andre Hayes to make sure that the lessons were aligned and age-appropriate for the age group.
For more information and resources, visit www.casenllc.com