This chapter helps to highlight how the research will be conducted. It includes the research approach, research strategy and design, research timeframe, data collection techniques, ethical considerations, reliability and validity, and limitations. This research studies the relationship between three variables, the learners’ socio-emotional skills and their academic and behavioral outcomes in pre-schoolers which will give more insight into the relationship among the three.
Participants of the Study
Sampling is a means through which people are selected from the entire population to take part in a study. In other words, a proportion that depicts the overall population is chosen. The researcher used the census sampling technique to identify the participants. This sampling method involves picking up the whole target population as the respondents since the number is quite manageable; this, therefore, increases the level of representativeness.
This research paper aims at evaluating the impacts of socio-emotional skills programs on the learning and behavioral outcome of pre-schoolers. To evaluate these impacts, the study will engage 85 children, 20 teachers, and 5 policymakers from one government-sponsored school. In this study, the role of policymakers will be represented as that one of the authority that seeks to improve the school environment for teachers and students by setting standards for socioemotional education. Additionally, policymakers will provide criteria for the evaluation of children’s socioemotional development, as well as the teachers’ performance in relation to helping students develop emotionally. Children participants will have attained the school-going age of 4 to 6 years. Since these children interact more with their teachers, 85 kindergarten teachers will be among the participants in the research. Lastly, the study will engage policymakers to establish whether they consider SEL skill programs essential in pre-schoolers learning activities. Thus, the Social Emotional Learning Skills program will be implemented to ensure that the socioemotional development of young learners occurs at a p[roper pace. Personal information of the 110 participants was collected and recorded in table 1 below.
Table 1: Respondents’ Personal Information. Source: Field Survey, 2021.
|Age (yrs.) |
|4 + 1.3|
|Gender (learners) |
Questionnaires will be typed and printed, then administered to the relevant respondents, and then be collected later for analysis. By the use of interviews, data collection should be done by asking questions to possibly the respondents, the learners, teachers, and policymakers working with pre-schoolers. Questions are to be posed orally about their education and experiences with other pre-schoolers, environment, and their behavioral and academic outcome. Interviews will involve contacting the teachers and policymakers through email; in this case, a short script containing questions will be prepared (Brown & Danaher, 2019). The questions will ensure that the researcher is within the scope of the study. Semi-structured interviews were also prepared separately for the policymakers. The primary focus of the interview questions was to establish whether SEL skills programs are critical to the learner’s academic and behavioral outcomes.
This technique involves contacting and interviewing teachers and policymakers in the pre-schoolers department online in order to acquire data and facts. This technique will be conducted via email or social media platforms. The survey will make use of the open-ended questions technique to obtain optimal information. The answers to the survey will then be used to pose further questions; a technique referred to as behavioral event interviewing (BEI). Interviews will be conducted in two categories which include a formal interview, which is structured, and an informal interview which is also semi-structured.
The qualitative part of this study involved conducting interviews with both the teachers and policymakers in kindergartens. The teachers and policymakers were interviewed due to their first-hand exposure and interaction with diverse pre-schoolers. On the other hand, the policymakers were involved in the research due to their long-term experience, especially in developing learning content for teachers in the department. The interviews were conducted via zoom, recorded, and presented for analysis.
Since the research had young children, the researcher used unstructured interviews to derive information from them. Unstructured interviews are a set of questions posed to an interviewee in a random manner. The questions are not prepared in advance, as in the case of a structured interview. Rather, the interviewer poses questions as the conversation unfolds. The researchers also focused on asking open-ended questions to allow more expression from the children, which allowed the researcher to understand them more.
Reliability and Validity of Research Instruments
Reliability means that similar results will be obtained at diverse instances of the research, while validity means that the respondents answer the questions posed correctly. During the pilot study, the researcher will administer at least ten questionnaires at random to respondents and then collect them after, for example, one week and then repeat the same practice to different respondents. After collecting the filled questionnaires, the researcher will make a comparison of the data from the respondents and then do corrections on the questionnaires as from the respondent’s comments. The various questions that will be found unclear to the respondents will also be made clear accordingly.
A research strategy and design are required as guidance on how the research will be carried out. This research will utilize a single case research strategy to investigate the SEL skills applied to pre-schoolers and their outcome. The researcher will conduct a survey to investigate the contents of learning given to children in kindergartens and their contribution to emotional intelligence. The research utilized a convenience sample based on the relevance, accessibility, and availability of the sample.
Y= SEL skills program
X1=Training and skills to address socio-emotional intelligence
Quality of SEL skills= Good relationship skills, self and social awareness skills, responsible decision making, and self-management. The researcher will use a survey as a method and questionnaires and interviews as actual data collection methods.
This study both the quantitative and qualitative research methods, a mixed research method. A qualitative method is one that observations, textual or visual analysis (from books or videos), and interviews (individual or group) while a quantitative research method emphasizes objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques. Therefore, in this study, we conducted textual analysis on the records of the elderly patients suffering from mental problems and the interventions provided. The researchers also interviewed caregivers and nurses in a caregiver department through a survey to evaluate the contents of their training.
The collected data will be sorted into various groups according to their level of importance and nature. Thereafter, the data will be analyzed using Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Microsoft Excel will assist in grouping the data to facilitate any comparison that may arise. SPSS, on the other hand, will be instrumental in establishing the data associations, which eventually will lead to conclusions on the objectives of the study.
Despite the success of the study, it has some limitations. One of the major limitations is that the study does not evaluate the classification of interventions provided to older pre-schoolers with relevance to their social or emotional issue; rather, it evaluates all interventions in general. In addition, the researcher was not able to collect data from the pre-schoolers’ parents to establish their opinion about the current interventions; rather, the researcher only establishes factors affecting their socio-emotional states. Also, due to the limitation of resources, the research did not engage teachers and policymakers from numerous departments; rather, the researcher used a small sample size generalizing other institutions.
This section contains a clear outline of the research participants, research approach, procedure, research instruments, data collection instruments, data analysis, and limitations of the study. This research aims at establishing the level of impacts of socio-emotional skills on pre-schoolers’ academic performance and behavioral outcomes.
Results and Analysis
This chapter provides the results of the study, data analysis, presentation, and interpretation of the research findings. Specifically, the key outcomes of the analysis are presented, including the connection between the target variables found in the course of the assessment and the effect that the specified discoveries have on the topic at hand. Currently, the results are pointing toward the necessity to incorporate socio-emotional components into the learning process so that the profound, intuitive, and strong understanding of the key notions of research, analysis, and critical approach could be introduced to children as early as possible. Thus, opportunities for boosting the development of their critical faculties will emerge. Moreover, chances to connect the outcomes to the cultural, community-related, and individual contexts of the classroom setting will appear.
Response Rate for Questionnaires
The sample size of the study comprised 110 respondents. Of the 110 questionnaires that were administered, 90 questionnaires were received, giving a return rate of 81.8%. This response was considered and accepted to be representative of the target population since a response rate of more than 75% of the targeted respondents is enough for the study.
The resulting 18.2% non-response was not significant with respect to influencing both validity and reliability of ultimate findings. In addition, the fact that the target respondents did similar work helped to enhance the dependability and generalizations of the findings. This study is therefore perceived to have an excellent response rate. Consequently, the outcomes of the research can be deemed as trustworthy, credible, and reliable. Specifically, the structure of the study and the process of its implementation, which have been devoid of all possible biases, with the experiment settings being adjusted to represent the target setting as close as possible, the structure of the study has been efficient, serving its purpose accordingly.
The described characteristics of the internal processes within the experiment prove that the study has been conducted in accordance with the essential standards for research implementation, which is why its internal validity has proven to be excellent. As for the external validity of this research, the obtained data proves high reproducibility and applicability of the study, meaning that it can be used in different settings and pursue different goals. Therefore, the general level of validity of the study in question is quite high, although it does not reach a particularly high point due to the presence of possible biases in the research results due to the presence of limitations in the selected data collection tool.
Length of Service in the Teaching Profession (Kindergarten Teachers)
Table 3: Kindergarten teachers were requested to indicate the years they had worked with pre-schoolers. Source: Field Survey, 2021.
|No. of Years||Number of respondents||Percent|
|Above 4 years||2||10|
The results show that 50% of the respondents had worked for a period of 2 years, 25 % had worked for 1 year, 15% had worked for 3 years, and 10% of the teachers had worked with pre-schoolers for over four years. The majority of the respondents (75%) had worked for at most 2 years.
Pre-Schoolers Recognition of Emotions
The pre-schoolers were requested to identify their emotions during different occasions, and their responses are presented in table 4.
Table 4: Respondents’ emotional recognition.
|Emotions||Number of respondents||Percent|
Table 4. 4: Favourite social media
The results of the analysis show that 73 respondents (85.8%) recognized when they were happy, and 71 respondents (83.5%) understood when angry. With regards to other emotions, only 65 respondents, representing 76.5%, identified it, while 80 respondents, representing 94.1%, knew when they were fearful. Many children did not recognize what amusement feels like, as only 59 respondents (69.4%) recognized it. Therefore, the research results show that the specified demographic is capable of discerning between basic emotions that they experience, whereas more complex feelings that require a more thorough understanding of one’s self and a better grasp of one’s emotional experiences typically occur unregistered.
Thus, the strategies for increasing the efficacy of self-analysis and the processing of emotions in young learners need to be encouraged. To be more accurate, these findings point out the fact that emotion recognition and understanding are learned. To be self-aware and in a position to manage their emotions, children must recognize what they feel in different instances. For this reason, emotional intelligence must be encouraged in children from an early age so that they can understand their response to specific phenomena that they encounter while learning (Bender et al., 2018). In order words, the focus on the activities that will allow children to recognize and name their emotions, as well as those of others, will have to be utilized to assist the target audience in building the necessary levels of emotional intelligence and competence. Combined with an increase in motivation, the specified change will lead to improved management of the early learning process.
Minnesota Preschool Affect Checklist-Revised/Shortened (MPAC-R/S) Observation tools are used to record and analyze children’s socio-emotional skills in their natural settings. The 1-item tool was given to teachers, and the record of their observation is noted in Table 5 below.
Table 5: MPAC-R/S Observation Items
|1. The child displays positive emotion in any manner (i.e., facial, vocal, or bodily emotion). The child’s behaviors must match the context of a given situation. Examples: Smiling, laughing, singing, dancing, etc.||85|
|2. The child directs positive emotion specifically at a particular person when already in contact with them. Emotion is directed at a specific person.||78|
|3. The child displays positive emotion when in a social situation but does not direct it to anyone in particular.||7|
|1. The child displays negative emotion in any manner (i.e., facial, vocal, or bodily emotion). The child’s behaviors must match the context of a given situation.||85|
|2. The child directs negative emotion specifically at a particular person when already in contact with them. Emotion is directed at a specific person.||65|
|EMOTION REGULATION: POSITIVE REACTIONS TO EMOTIONALLY AROUSING PROBLEM SITUATIONS|
|1. The child displays context-related interpersonal aggression (verbal or physical). Someone does something emotionally arousing, to which the child responds with aggression (emotionally arousing preceding event must be observed).||80|
|2. The child shows primarily neutral or positive emotion during this behavior.||3|
|EMOTION DYSREGULATION: NEGATIVE REACTIONS TO EMOTIONALLY AROUSING PROBLEM SITUATIONS (usually anger-related)|
|1. The child displays context-related interpersonal aggression (verbal or physical). Someone does something emotionally arousing, to which the child responds with aggression (emotionally arousing preceding event must be observed).||15|
|2. The child hits, kicks, shoves, knocks over, or throws objects (emotionally arousing preceding event must be observed).||7|
|3. The child displays unprovoked physical interpersonal aggression.||2|
The observations provided above indicate that the issue of identifying and regulating negative emotions represents the greatest problem when addressing the psychosocial and emotional development of early learners. Namely, the inability to cope with negative emotions with the same diversity of methods as children have shown to address their positive experiences currently represents the greatest concern. Although the instances of unprovoked physical aggression registered in the course of this research have been quite a few, the necessity to manage them accordingly has still been abundantly evident. Specifically, the responses involving kicking, throwing things, and using other aggressive ways of expressing frustration and anger indicate that young children require particularly strong support and guidance in developing adequate socio-emotional responses.
Impact of Socio-Emotional Skills Program on Academic Performance
Teachers were required to record their observations and were to base their answers on a Likert 5 scale and recorded on table 6 below.
Table 6: Impact of Socio-emotional skills program on Academic Performance
|Impact of socio-emotional skills||SDA||D||N||A||SA|
|Learners who portrayed strong socio-emotional skills performed better in numerical skills||1||3||6||3||7|
|Better socio-emotional skills resulted in good performance in language.||0||2||5||7||6|
|Socio-emotional skills result in good writing skills||5||2||2||5||6|
|Socio-emotional skills helped in good teacher-student relationship hence improved collaboration||0||0||2||8||10|
|Use of socio-emotional skills to better time management||4||3||2||7||4|
|Socio-emotional skills lead to improved ability to answer questions||3||0||0||5||12|
|Socio-emotional skills influence performance through the formation of workgroups which enhances learning||1||2||5||1||11|
|Using social media requires spending money hence making me worry all the time about how to maintain the use of social media hence reducing my productivity.||3||3||13||16||5|
|Socio-emotional skills aid a learner to concentrate during lessons||0||46||24||12||8|
|Socio-emotional skills enhance effective communication with the organization||14||8||10||38||20|
As Table 6 shows, socio-emotional skills have a direct impact on learners’ academic performance. Specifically, the rise in the children’s ability to solve numerical tasks along with the increase in the quality of communication between a learner and an educator have been proven. The described alterations point to the fact that the emphasis on socioemotional development allows students to train both their analytical function and communication-related abilities. Furthermore, the fact that ten respondents out of the target group strongly agreed on the role of emotional intelligence and socioemotional development in young learners on the quality of student-teacher communication proves that the development of emotional intelligence is highly correlated with improvements in academic performance.
Overall, the analysis results prove the necessity to foster the concept of socioemotional development in young learners by promoting the idea of emotional intelligence as the skill of discerning one’s own emotions along with those of others. Thus, strategies geared toward helping young children recognize their emotions, name them, and cope with them in a rational and positive manner must be deemed vital. The strategies in question may include using different age-appropriate media such as children’s books to discuss the emotions observed in characters and, thus, assist a child with recognizing emotions and controlling them.
Bender, J., O’Connor, A. M., & Evans, A. D. (2018). Mirror, mirror on the wall: Increasing young children’s honesty through inducing self-awareness. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 167, 414-422.
Brown, A., & Danaher, P. A. (2019). CHE principles: Facilitating authentic and dialogical semi-structured interviews in educational research. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 42(1), 76-90.