Efficacy of the RULER Approach on Developing Social-Emotional Competence : A 9-Year, Longitudinal Randomized Controlled Trial
Schneider, Kaitlyn M.
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Previous research indicates that Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programs can have a profound effect on students' ability to recognize, understand, and manage their emotions. The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning ("RULER") integrates an emotional literacy curriculum with the core academic curriculum in order to create a classroom environment that is conducive to students' academic and psychosocial wellbeing. The acronym "RULER" stands for the five key emotion skills that the program teaches students; recognizing emotions in the self and others, understanding the causes and the consequences of emotions, labeling emotional experiences with an accurate and developmentally-appropriate vocabulary, and expressing and regulating emotions in ways that promote growth. The proposed study is a randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of the RULER Approach on students' social-emotional competency over a 9-year period, from kindergarten through eighth-grade. It is hypothesized that students in RULER classrooms will have a greater social-emotional competency than students in comparison classrooms. If the hypothesis is refuted, possible reasons include implementation complications and poor adherence to the curriculum. The proposed study targets the need for data regarding the long-term effects of SEL programming, ultimately contributing to a field with the goal of creating a better future for our youth.