Lions Quest Skills for Adolescense
Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence is a universal program that includes free standing SEL lessons in Grades 6 – 8. The program includes activities and step-by-step instructions that provide strong and comprehensive coverage for self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making, with more limited emphasis in the program on self-management. Skills for Adolescence uses a broad range of interactive instructional strategies including pair-share, triads, squares, cooperative group work, large and small group discussion, jigsaws, peer teaching, role plays, problem solving scenarios, simulations, and large and small group reflection.
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The 105 lessons in the curriculum can be implemented through a variety of implementation models over a quarter, semester, one-, two-, or three years so that all students in the schools can participate in the program. The program provides extensive guidance for linking to academics and integrating program content into academic subjects.
Learning and service activities connected with the lessons can be implemented as a separate course, class meeting, or integrated into an existing program and have school-wide components, such as positive school climate, that engage all students in practicing and applying the skills throughout the school day and in all settings. A service learning guide provides comprehensive structure to support real life practice and application of developing skills.
There is limited behavioral practice beyond the lesson (aside from service learning). The program relies heavily on student worksheets, which are collected into a student manual. This manual has to be purchased for every student; hence there is an ongoing yearly cost to the program. The program is also used in Tier 2 and 3 settings with the Response to Intervention model.
There are multiple manuals and components, and figuring out how they all fit together requires some effort. The full curriculum may be too long for some schools, raising concerns about whether key content might be omitted.
Skills for Adolescence is one of the strongest programs in terms of providing guidelines for working with diverse populations. There are instructions for teachers on how to make the program culturally sensitive and relevant to diverse students.
Skills for Adolescence is a curricular program implemented by a teacher in the classroom. Students develop shared agreements to support positive classroom management. Classroom lessons use instructional strategies and teach social and emotional competencies and dispositions that establish a caring, participatory, and well-managed learning environment. Further, the first unit of Skills for Adolescence includes lessons that promote positive r elationships within the classroom.
At the school level, the program is very strong in terms of system-wide support and school-wide activities. For example, the school-wide component begins with the formation of a planning team. The purpose of the planning team is to plan implementation, evaluation (both process and outcome) adaptation and improvement, and institutionalization. There is a workshop for administrators. The Program Guide includes a section called “Developing a Positive School Climate” that provides directions for establishing a School Climate Team, administering a School Climate Survey, developing a school-wide plan to improve school climate based on survey results. Skills for Adolescence also works to improve school climate through schoolwide events, themes, displays, and norms that build a schoolwide, relationship-centered learning community as well as a classroom community.
At the family level, there is a separate book for involving families entitled Strengthening Family Relationships. Family involvement also includes shared homework, workshops for parents, instructions for family involvement in program activities, a book for parents (The Surprising Years) and a guide for leading four parent meetings.
The service learning component involves students in the community. In addition there are instructions and guidelines for connecting to the community.
Skills for Adolescence offers a standard two-day training for their professional development that can be completed in one day if the school prefers. Either version is considered introductory and is usually offered on site. However, regional trainings are also available; these are offered several times each year and are open to individuals from multiple schools. Follow up training for teachers beyond this introductory level is typically content and school-specific and is called a Re-Quest. Re-Quest is only provided as needed.
Administrators are encouraged (but not required) to attend the initial training. There is also an optional administrator workshop available.
Skills for Adolescence offers technical support online and by phone. In addition, the website offers extensive resources to support implementation, including professional development offerings, sample lessons, a long list of core conventions for successful implementation (For Kate: WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT THIS MEANS), consulting and booster sessions, and possible funding sources.
Skills for Adolescence offers two types of train-the-trainer models to support sustainability. Specifically, there is a national trainers workshop which is intensive and qualifies a trainer to offer the professional development to any school. Alternatively, there is an affiliate trainer model in which teachers from a specific school or district can get trained so they can offer training within their own system, which is a less intensive model.
Results of a randomized control trial and a quasi-experimental evaluation conducted between the years 2003 and 2007 supported the effectiveness of Lion’s Quest Skills for Adolescence. In sum, the two evaluations included 6326 students in 5th – 7th grades (Black = 18%; Hispanic = 34%; White = 26% of reporting participants) and found that students who participated in the program reported lower levels of drug use, more positive self-perceptions of their own self-efficacy to refuse offers of drugs and alcohol, and more positive perceptions of their own social skills compared to students participating in the control group at a posttest which was 12 months after baseline. Two of these effects – lower levels of drug use and more positive self-efficacy for refusing offers of drugs and alcohol – were shown to persist at a follow-up interval that was one year after the posttest. All of these effects were statistically significant when controlling for outcome pretest as well as other relevant covariates.
Eisen, M., Zellman, G. L., & Murray, D. M. (2003). Evaluating the Lions–Quest “Skills for Adolescence” drug education program: Second-year behavior outcomes. Addictive behaviors, 28(5), 883-897.
Malmin (2007). It Is My Choice (Lions Quest) evaluation part 5 of the report: The impact on the behavior of the students. (2007). Unpublished evaluation report.