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Finding Social Emotional Curricula

The Choose and Use Guide on Social Emotional Curricula is based, in part, on the work of Powell, D., & Dunlap, G. (2009). Evidence-Based Social-Emotional Curricula and Intervention Packages for Children 0-5 Years and Their Families (Roadmap to Effective Intervention Practices). Tampa, Florida: University of South Florida, Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children. a print product of the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education grant #H326B070002).

The current Office of Head Start funding is solely responsible for the current interactive product, the dimensions upon which the Choose and Use protocol is implemented and the suggested use of the guide.

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One of the best ways that Head Start programs can assure that they are meeting the social emotional needs of children is to select and use an appropriate curriculum in this area of development.

There are, in fact, a number of social emotional curricula that have been widely used in early care and education settings, including Head Start. In previous work, Joseph and Strain (2003) identified eight classroom approaches that, based upon prior research and development, were deemed to be “ready” for wide-spread adoption.

These approaches vary widely on features that are critical to adoption decisions, including evidence of treatment fidelity, evidence of long-term outcomes, evidence of acceptability, validation with Head Start groups, and the type and degree of outcomes achieved.

In this Choose and Use guide we offer the user a template for choosing among curricula based on key features.

The Center does not promote any one model but does encourage providers to use the guide to help make a curriculum choice that best fits specific circumstances, resources and needs.

List of Curricula

  • Als Pals: Promote emotional and social competence, foster resilient development, and reduce the risk of later anti-social behavior and substance abuse in young children. Targeted to children ages 3-8 especially those at risk due to factors such as poverty and violence.
  • Incredible Years: Dina Dinosaur Classroom Curriculum. Promote children’s social competence, emotional self-regulation and positive school behavior. Targets children in preschool and kindergarten from high risk populations.
  • Incredible Years: Dina Dinosaur Child Training Program. Promote children’s social competence, emotional self-regulation and positive school behavior; prevent, reduce and treat early onset of conduct problems in young children. Targets children ages 3-8 with diagnosed problems such as ODD, CD and ADHD; children exhibiting early onset of conduct problems.
  • Preschool PATHS: Prevent or reduce behavior and emotional problems in young children and enhance children’s social emotional competence.
  • Second Step: Primary prevention program designed to decrease aggression and promote social competence.
  • Social Skills in Pictures, Stories, and Songs: Assist young children in learning social and emotional skills necessary for school readiness and success.
  • Preschool I Can Problem Solve: Teach children how to think in ways that help resolve typical interpersonal problems with peers and adults in order to reduce and prevent early high-risk behaviors. Targets preschool children, ages 4 -5, especially those living in urban environments.

Find Curricula by:

Target Population Target Population:
  • Children in child care
  • Preschool/kindergarten children (ages 3-5)
  • Early school-age children (ages 5-8)
  • Children with risk factors
  • Children with diagnosed problems
Delivery Delivery Method:
  • Whole classrooms
  • Small groups
  • Delivered by teacher
  • Delivered by mental health professional
  • Training available
  • Training recommended
  • Training required
  • Certification available



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