APA is among the groups involved in the social and emotional learning arena, having developed a curriculum for third-grade students called “The Other Three Rs: Reasoning, Resilience and Responsibility.”

The effort is the result of a 2003 APA presidential task force of experts led by former APA president and education leader Robert Sternberg, PhD, and staffed by APA’s Center for Psychology in Schools and Education. The team identified three key psychosocial variables — reasoning, resilience and responsibility — that research shows can be effectively integrated into elementary school curricula, says Rena Subotnik, PhD, who directs the APA center. In collaboration with the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and with funding from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the center developed a curriculum integrating those variables into third-grade academic programming.

In a test of the intervention with 724 third-grade public school students in the 2004–05 school year, the APA center found that children whose teachers implemented the “Other Three Rs” curriculum developed greater reasoning abilities, resilience and responsibility, and retained the same level of academic achievement as controls.

The results of those efforts — empirically tested lessons and a teacher training manual — can be downloaded free from APA.

—T. DeAngelis