A new study by Professor Michael E. Bernard, author of ASG's You Can Do It! Education program, has revealed links between improved literacy outcomes in students with the development of students' positive mindset and behaviours for learning.
This ground-breaking Australian research has demonstrated that students' reading performance can improve if they are taught specific social and emotional skills that support learning.
Helping Great Teachers Make Great Students was released by Professor Bernard, an international researcher from the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education.
The research and its report were funded by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG).
Professor Bernard's research evaluated the teaching of positive attitudes and behaviours for learning in two National Partnership Schools in Victoria.
The research demonstrates that teachers who are able to teach their students attitudes and behaviours for learning (AB4L) are more successful in imparting subject content particularly where students are struggling. And those students in the lower 50% of their classes in reading achievement showed significant improvements in their reading comprehension performance.
Professor Bernard said the research is an Australian first, providing empirical evidence that teaching students AB4L improves how well they do in literacy.
"I have always believed there was an artificial separation between academic learning, and social and emotional learning," Professor Bernard said. "In fact, the two are linked, and teachers need to be good at teaching both."
AB4L was created by Professor Bernard in 2009. It focuses on the self-management skills and attitudes that help students stay focused and engaged during classroom instruction. Specific learning behaviours include initiative, cooperativeness, engagement, confidence and persistence.
During the study, some of the teachers at the two participating schools were trained in how to integrate AB4L into literacy lessons. Students in those classes showed significant improvement in their behaviours for learning and reading comprehension.
The AB4L research is part of ASG's broader support for Professor Bernard's You Can Do It! Education Program, which aims to provide all children with the foundations of achievement, positive relationships and emotional well-being.
ASG is the publisher of You Can Do It! Education resources that are currently used in thousands of primary and secondary schools across Australia.