On Thursday, April 19th we had the privilege to sit down with Angela Rudderham, Director of Bridgeway Academy and creator of Bridgeway's Social Skills program. Using evidence-driven outcomes, Angela has been studying, developing and improving her Social Skills program for the past 12 years.
Why are social skills so important?
"Social deficits are often viewed as insensitive and willful behavior."
So what are social skills, how do people learn them and can they be taught?
I think most people would answer yes to the final question, but Angela Rudderham has taken this question to the next level. Effective social skills are a learned behavior and predictor of future success and personal fulfillment. Can the efficacy of a social skills program be measured?
Angela has invested in research and development of Bridgeway's Social Skills Program for 12 years. Each year she studies student progress and refuses to accept a ceiling and demands growth and development of herself, her staff and her program. She does this by being on the front lines of program delivery.
Bridgeway's Social Skills Program is divided into 8 Units:
- Self Awareness
- Awareness of Others
- Perspective Taking
- Self Regulation
- Problem Solving
- Life Skills
And follows 7 Steps:
What did we learn?
When discussing highly structured, measurable programs based on evidence, there are a lot of parallel themes. Here were my top three take aways.
1. Rewards and consequences do not teach the expected behavior. It lowers motivation, creates anxiety and stress and negatively impacts relationships.
2. Mistakes are teachable moments.
3. The social behaviors of our children don't always line up with our expectations as parents, this doesn't always mean our children are lacking
Thank you Angela and Bridgeway Academy for your knowledge, inclusive, and effective education.
Visit their website for more information on Bridgeway's Course Overview. Notice SpellRead on that list? We're proud to partner with Bridgeway and provide on-going training and support to their SpellRead teachers. Halifax Learning has developed an extensive training model based on 20 years of experience, research and development, that can be replicated in a variety of delivery models. If you work with youth in need of literacy intervention, Halifax Learning can support your staff to reach an infinite number of struggling readers.
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