Annotated Bibliography: Early Childhood Education

The following sample Education annotated bibliography is 2510 words long, in APA format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 183 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

Ashdown, D., & Bernard, M. (2012). Can explicit instruction in social and emotional learning skills benefit the social-emotional development, well-being, and academic achievement of young children? Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(6), 397-405. doi:10.1007/s10643-011-0481-x

The source investigates a specific program and curriculum used by a school in Australia that explicitly instructs students in social and emotional behaviors such as confidence and emotional resilience. The source is useful because it studies a specific curriculum that was found to be effective on the school’s demographic and this may lead to the possibility of other schools replicating similar results by using the same curriculum. There are two limitations that are noticeable: 1. the study was performed at a parochial school and a preparatory school (may not be a diverse environment 2. the focus was largely on grade 1 classes. The audience the article is intended for is early childhood education teachers, counselors, curriculum developers, and proponents for investment in education. The author concluded that the program was effective and increased reading scores and reduced behavior problems. The possibility of having a social and emotional learning skills curriculum is interesting to me because it can offer standardization of the subject matter. The CARS checklist showed this article to be of high scholarly value considering the lack of author conflicts, sources of funding, background of the author, and the organization that published it.

Denham, S. A., & Brown, C. (2010). 'Plays nice with others': social-emotional learning and academic success. Early Education & Development, 21(5), 652-680. doi:10.1080/10409289.2010.497450

This article outlines the skills of SEL that should be taught as well as how these skills relate to academic success as well as variables to specific demographics. The source is useful because it makes direct correlations between the SEL skill and the academic achievement because of this skill. This article is extremely well developed and considers information from a wide variety of students and geographic areas and the potential issues within those areas. The article focuses mainly on early education techniques and is geared toward elementary school teachers. The author concluded that while there are some differences in the approach that different areas with different students may need to take, SEL is worth the time and effort. I found the source to be valuable and informative in how the integrate SEL into diverse classrooms. The CARS checklist showed this article to be of high scholarly value considering the funding, background of the author, and the organization that published it.

Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: a meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1), 405-432. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01564.x

The article is a meta-analysis of 213 school-based SEL programs that encompasses over 270,000 students and discusses the four models of SEL practices that the school are effectively using. The source has a great deal of data involved in the research and the patterns that show how effective each program is, the age group that it is most effective in, and the program outcomes makes the source useful to support other research articles. The article has few limits, it has a large focus group, K-12 age span, and provides strong evidence that SEL programs are effective and necessary. The audience is focused on educators, policy makers, and administrators. I found the results of the study to be very impressive, an 11%-point gain in achievement is excellent evidence. The CARS checklist showed this article to be of high scholarly value considering the background of the author and the organization that published it.

The effects of a multiyear universal social-emotional learning program: the role of student and school characteristics. (2010). Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 156-168. doi:10.1037/a001 8607

The focus of the article is on a specific program called Fast Track PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) and the effectiveness of the SEL program on a wide variety of students. The source is useful because the research is a large population longitudinal study and also examines the effectiveness on male students, aggressive students, and in school that have high levels of poverty. The limits the source has is that is focuses on grades 1, 2, and 3 but goes much more in depth in their research. The article is geared toward school and district level administrators who can implement new programs. The author concludes that the program was most effective on students who had a history of aggressive behavior and in students who come from higher poverty schools. I found the source to be useful and the pre-research data about the student population (students who are identified as ADD or disruptive) was useful to see the before and after impact of the program. The CARS checklist showed this article to be of high scholarly value considering the funding, background of the author, and the organization that published it.

Elias, M. J., & Margolis, H. (2007). Collaborative action-research and the improvement of schools for all children: reflections on the legacy of Joseph E. Zins. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 17(2/3), 101-105. doi:10.1080/10474410701346360

The focus of the article is on the CASEL organization by Joseph Zins which is the foundation for much of the SEL research. Understanding the information that acts as a scaffold into other SEL research is important because then the reader understands the point at which the research began and where it is moving. The limits of the source is that it does not offer in-depth quantitative data but since I was looking for a source to further inform me to the CASEL program, the article is effective. The audience is for educators who are looking to understand the foundations of the program and the research that has been previously done. The author concludes that SEL is not only effective but necessary to childhood education. I found this article to be very helpful in explaining why Zin began researching SEL and how it has evolved as research continues. The CARS checklist showed this article to be of high scholarly value considering the background of the authors and the organization that published it.

Fleischer, L. (2010). Developing emotional literacy: transition planning for youth at risk. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 19(1), 50-53.

The focus of this article is more specifically on at risk young adults in middle and high school and the effectiveness of SEL as an intervention program. The source was very informative to how the researchers used SEL as a transitional program to promote positive behavior in students who had struggled in classrooms. The source was limited to middle and high school students because students are usually identified as being at risk during this age and have a track record of issues. This article was meant for all educators but a teacher who is a part of an at-risk program or continuation school may find the data to be useful in deciding to implement an SEL program. The author concludes that while SEL is effective for at-risk students, it may be better to implement SEL for all students to avoid students falling into the at-risk category in the first place. I agree with the author’s closing thoughts and found the SEL program as a very effective way of avoiding problems with students in a tertiary planning method instead. When the CAR method is applied the article is shown to be of high scholarly value because of the lack of author conflict, peer reviews, and comes from a reputable source.

Jones, J. L., Jones, K. A., & Vermette, P. J. (2009). Using social and emotional learning to foster academic achievement in secondary mathematics. American Secondary Education, 37(3), 4-9.

This article is focused on SEL specifically in high school mathematics classes and the improvement of academic achievement. The source is useful because it is very focused on a specific subject and math scores are generally a focus for many schools. There are some limits, however, the group studied was smaller and the students fit a specific demographic in the area of which they were studied. This article was very focused for secondary math teachers but the evidence provided also showed that SEL can be used in a variety of different ways and not just as a separate program. The author concluded that the SEL integration was effective in helping students feel comfortable with making mistakes in math and that students achieved higher academically. This article was very interesting to me because it shows the broad scope that SEL integration has, it isn’t just a separate program but a part of the current curriculum. The CARS checklist was applied to the source and found to be of scholarly value because the researchers received no payment from the SEL program and the background of the authors is shown to be strong.

Lantieri, L., & Nambiar, M. (2012). Cultivating the social, emotional, and inner lives of children and teachers. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 21(2), 27-33.

This source was a little bit different because it discussed the impact of SEL programs on not just the students but also the impact on the teachers. This is useful because while teachers want what is best for students, if they feel like they will get something out of using SEL, they may be more likely to buy-in to the program. While the article is thorough, I thought it would have been more effective to split the two topics into two separate articles: one for impact on students and a second one for impact on teachers. This article is geared toward teachers but administrators and policy makers may gain a better understanding of how SEL can positively impact teacher retention and job satisfaction.  The author concluded that while they expected SEL to improve academic achievement in students, they also found that teachers also responded to having better classroom relationships with their students and felt more job satisfaction. I found this article to be helpful in convincing teachers of the validity of SEL programs because it would add something to their lives as well. The CARS checklist shows this article to be scholarly quality because of the background of the authors and the thorough research techniques. 

Lazarus, P. J., & Sulkowski, M. L. (2011). The emotional well-being of our nation's youth and the promise of social-emotional learning. Communique (0164775X), 40(1), 15-17.

The focus of this source examined the academic achievement encouraged by SEL programs but mostly on the impact the program had on students’ confidence and self-esteem. This is useful information as well, as it ties in with the at-risk students when confidence and self-esteem and academics often lead to behavior issues. The limits of this source is that it is geared toward a very wide audience that is not specifically in education, however, there are several supporting quotes that I can use to support the academic effects that SEL has. The audience is for a more general audience but offers explanations of the effectiveness of SEL programs that make this source valuable to me. The authors conclude that SEL isn’t just good for academic purposes but also gives students a more emotionally supportive environment that encourages them to feel comfortable in the classroom. I didn’t find this source to be especially useful for quantitative research but there are some pieces of supporting evidence that make an impact on the reader’s understanding of the program that I felt were helpful. When the CARS checklist was applied to the article I found the article to be academic but not as strong as other articles but the emotional impact of this article was greater and can be used in conjunction with other research. 

Tanyu, M. (2007). Implementation of prevention programs: lessons for future research and practice: a commentary on social and emotional learning: promoting the development of all students, a chapter by Joseph E. Zins and Maurice J. Elias. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 17(2/3), 257-262. doi:10.1080/10474410701346758

This chapter of Zins’ book explains how to implement SEL as a prevention (rather than tertiary) action and the value of supporting students before they identify as at-risk. The source is extremely valuable because Joseph Zins is one of the most respected researchers in the SEL programs and focuses on preventative actions. This article is one chapter out of a larger book and while it is effective in creating and supporting an argument, the chapters surrounding it are likely to strengthen the argument Tanyu is making about Zins. Tanyu is also reflective of previous research and adaptations he would make in future research. This makes the source seem more specific for researchers but can also be found as useful for administrators and teachers who are seeking to use SEL as a preventative measure. The authors’ conclusions is that he would broaden his research and use SEL for students who are identified as pre-at-risk and while they may eventually need intervention are not to that point yet. I found this to be an honest and helpful way of incorporating SEL, including when to integrate it and how to integrate it into the curriculum. The CARS checklist shows this article to be of high scholarly value because it is examining a previous work critically and providing ample evidence to support the argument.

Taylor, R. D., & Dymnicki, A. B. (2007). Empirical evidence of social and emotional learning's influence on school success: a commentary on "Building academic success on social and emotional learning: what does the research say?" A book edited by Joseph E. Zins, Roger P. Weissberg, Margaret. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 17(2/3), 225-231. doi:10.1080/10474410701346725

This source focuses largely on the quantitative and imperial data that supports SEL programs and shows the positive influence on school and student success. The source is useful because it has been reviewed and edited by Joseph Zins, so the reader knows that the information has been reviewed by an expert in the field of SEL. The source provides the data that is needed to prove that SEL programs, when implemented correctly, are effective in improving academic achievement. There are few limits on the research, it is well supported and focuses on a variety of student age groups and demographics to prove the effectiveness of the program. The intended audience is educators and administrators because it provides evidence that they may use to convince others of implementing an SEL program. The author’s conclusions are that SEL learning is effective and there is more than enough evidence to support it; students achieve better when they are in an environment that supports them emotionally. I found this source to be helpful because it focused on many past research projects and gave a wide variety of sample data and examples to make a very convincing argument. When the CARS checklist was applied to the source, I found it to be a highly rated article because of the strength and variety of the researchers and editors involved, there were no funding conflicts, and the article drew from research supported by other researchers to prove the validity of their argument.