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The Power of Social Skills in Character Development: Helping Diverse Learners Succeed. (Professional Books).

THE POWER OF SOCIAL SKILLS IN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: Helping Diverse Learners Succeed. J. L. Scully. Port Chester, NY: National Professional Resources, 2000. 198 pp. $29.95. The Power of Social Skills in Character Development is a practical, hands-on curriculum for teaching social skills and values in the classroom. Although originally targeted for use with adolescents with learning disabilities, the majority of the lessons are easily. adaptable for regular classroom instruction.

The 80 lessons in this curriculum are divided into seven units, covering such topics as communication skills, handling criticism, stress management, conflict resolution and problem solving, and decision making and goal setting. Lessons within each unit not only give students opportunity to reflect on, practice, and discuss various values and social skills, but also are presented at an accessible conceptual level.

Each of the lessons includes an objective, an individual student activity, a classroom discussion activity, and a homework assignment. One of the strengths of the curriculum is the wealth of teacher-ready resources, including checklists, brainstorming activities, self-report surveys, role-playing scenarios, and reproducible individual and group activity worksheets. Students are also encouraged to keep a personal value journal that they can discuss privately with the teacher.

Scully, a high school teacher at a residential school for students with learning disabilities and an advocate for character education, has conducted workshops on social skills training for parents, teachers, and professionals throughout the United States. Her approach to social skills training is grounded in the theoretical knowledge bases of character education (e.g., Lickona) and in best practices in special education (e.g., Carter and Sugai). Reviewed by Kate Scorgie, Associate Professor of Graduate Education, Azusa Pacific University, San Diego, CA
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Author:Scorgie, Kate
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 2002
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