Teaching children how to handle social problems: Second Step by the Committee for Children
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The Second Step program, developed by the Committee for Children in Seattle, Washington in the U.S., focuses on teaching children how to solve social problems peacefully by building skills in impulse control, emotion management, responsible problem solving, and empathy.
The learning is developmentally-guided, with graded lesson kits available for “Early Learning” (ages 4-5), “Elementary School” (K to Grade 5) and “Middle School” (Grades 6-8). Learning is facilitated using various mediums including music, visual media, stories and even puppets that are included in the teacher’s kits. There are also additional units on Bullying and Child Protection available, extending the Second Step curriculum.
The Second Step program has been utilized in schools for over 20 years, and has reached millions of children in over 70 countries. Research has documented the impact of Second Step including, among other benefits, significant increases in cooperation and decreases in aggression in the classroom, that are maintained at least six months after implementation of the program. Furthermore, the Second Step program is recognized by CASEL as a “SELect” program, by the Canadian Best Practices Portal as a “best practice” program, and by Blueprints as a “promising” program.
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