In many urban schools in Puerto Rico high levels of antisocial behavior had been reported (Santos, 2001). The Department of Education estimates that in 2011 there were increases in number of schools considered to be high-risk (177 to 209) (Feliciano, 2011). Further statistics from law enforcement demonstrate an increase in violence in elementary schools in Puerto Rico since 2000. Personal and social responsibility instruction had been used effectively to improve the antisocial behaviors of students in high risk schools during the physical education class (Samalot-Porretta, 2012 ; Escartí, Gutiérrez , Pascual y Marin, 2010). Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a curricular model on social skills instruction during physical education on the development of personal and social responsibility of elementary children from high risk schools in Puerto Rico.
A Quasi experimental design was used to examine seven high risk schools in the town of Arecibo Puerto Rico. Random assignment was used to create an experimental and comparison condition where one group received the intervention consisting of fifteen lessons related to social skills instruction on a modified version of the appropriate behaviors during physical education and sports curriculum (Samalot- Rivera, 2007). Questionnaires were then used to examine students, parents, and teachers to measure their perceptions about the effectiveness of the intervention.
Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the effectiveness of the intervention on the personal and social responsibility development of elementary children. Results demonstrated intervention effectives and social validity in developing personal and social responsibility for elementary school children during physical education class at high risk urban schools. Further, results demonstrated the existence of statistical difference between the control and experimental groups improving conducts associated to personal and social responsibility for the experimental group. Social validity data demonstrate parents and teachers were satisfied with the intervention and its effectiveness.
The strategies proposed through the model of curricular intervention were effective in developing personal responsibility and social responsibility. This evidence support previous findings about the effectiveness of implementing social skill instruction in the physical education class (Samalot- Porretta, 2012). It is recommended to provide this knowledge and tools to future physical educators during their training.