An Evaluation of the Paths Curriculum in the Context of Theories of Social-Emotional Development

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Foley, Bláthnaid
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Experiencing trauma, particularly within the primary caregiving environment can have a negative effect on the development of social-emotional skills, particularly self-regulation in children. School success is dependent upon social-emotional skills making it important for schools to have programs that teach social-emotional skills. PATHS is a social-emotional learning program widely used in schools in Nova Scotia. The study examined whether PATHS is a good curriculum to use in schools with children who have experienced trauma using a framework based on research about social-emotional learning and the developmental needs of traumatized children identified by the Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC) model. In general, the PATHS curriculum introduces social-emotional skills in a manner that could be beneficial for all students, but additional supports would likely be needed to address the individual areas of competency and difficulty and build the necessary skills of children who have experienced trauma. Recommendations are about implementing PATHS in a real school environment.
PATHS, social emotional skills, Nova Scotia children