Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Social Skills Training’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Social Skills Training is a collection of practices that utilize a behavioral approach to teaching preschool children age-appropriate social skills and competencies, including communication, problem solving, decision making, self-management, and peer relations

The evidence for Social Skills Training covers students in pre-kindergarten.

The outcomes examined include: cognition, and social emotional development. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Social Skills Training’s impact on each outcome:

  • Cognition: No detectable impact
  • Social emotional development: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 12 percentile points)

The studies looking into Social Skills Training had student samples that were in suburban areas in New York, had students who were Asian, Black, White, and Hispanic, and were male and female.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here:


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