The Research Behind Leaps

The Research Behind Leaps

Leaps was initially developed to help people, adults and children, who were moving from institutions into the community and they needed to increase their social intelligence and their emotional intelligence. Many of these individuals were very bright intellectually but they lacked the adaptive or emotive skills to fit into society. They were taught systematically how to grow their social capacity while simultaneously increase their emotional intelligence so that they could integrate into a more independent societal setting. Great success was achieved!

Fast forward to today, after decades of research, adaptation, and application Leaps has taken the clinical process of deficit assessment and addressment within the scope of social capacity and emotional intelligence and used it to create individual scope plans to increase learning capacity thereby increasing the student’s ability to learn. In other words, Leaps has taken the clinical and made it classroom ready for the educators. Assess your student, lessons are recommended to address the assessed deficits, progress is measured, targets are given, success is achieved.

The wonderful thing about increasing a student’s social and emotional learning capacity is that when the student learns to sit in class and pay attention and get along with other students and the teacher and feel better about himself and understand the stresses and expectations of being a student – learning can occur – all learning. Leaps is Social and Emotional Learning.

Reports & Case Studies

School Stories

High School Uses Leaps in Attendance & Discipline Office

High School Teacher, Melissa Rooney, talks about how her school uses Leaps in the Attendance & Discipline office. She says it helps students learn lessons that are going to be important throughout their lives. They also use Leaps in their In School Suspension...

District-Wide Implementation

Launching Leaps District Wide, By TopicMany of our schools report that the best way to get their Leaps program going district-wide is to set a value or topic for each month of the school year. This doesn't mean that you can only access 9 or 10 topics...

4th Grade Teacher Sees Behavior & Academics Improve

Lisa Young is a 4th grade teacher who has seen improvement in her students, both behaviorally and academically after using Leaps lessons and assessment tools. Her school uses Leaps for Response to Intervention (RTI) in Tier 2 groups as well as in the...

Success Story: Addressing Bullying & Helping Special Needs Kids

Tammy Geiger, a specialist who works with special needs children at Lake County Schools, shares her story about using Leaps lessons to change the bullying behavior of a student who was targeting a deaf person. The bully is known to be a member of a gang. After...

Middle School Uses Leaps for Behavior Support

Susan Edwards, middle school educator, talks about Leaps assessment tools and Response to Intervention (RTI). Ms. Edwards shares how Leaps helps teachers in her middle school collect data for the district to help monitor and manage reporting on student...

More About Leaps

The Research Behind Leaps

The Research Behind Leaps

Leaps was initially developed to help people, adults and children, who were moving from institutions into the community and they needed to increase their social intelligence and their emotional intelligence. Many of these individuals were very bright intellectually...

New Leaps 5.0 Now Available!

We're so excited to announce that Leaps 5.0 is up and running. All users accounts have been updated and new users will have full access to our beautiful new system. We're updated more than just the look and feel, with more emphasis on user experience, ease of use and...

 

We enlighten and empower educators to make a difference in the lives of their students, forever.

Watch this brief demo

The Role of Work in the Process of Learning

The Role of Work in the Process of Learning

by Jay Burcham, Author of Leaps

Why do we look for quick fixes?

Every time I open my web browser, I see something about a diet or a savings plan, or a self-improvement program. We are constantly looking for ways to be better to do better and, oftentimes the thing we want the most, to have better. I started wondering about the real purpose of so many of these self-improvement movements and fads. Why do we spend so much time looking for quick fixes to life’s problems? Some are fairly obvious – you diet to feel better about yourself. You save money to prepare for the future. It all seems pretty straightforward until you start actually reading the articles and listening to the testimonials. But what about doing the work? What is the role of work in the process of learning?

“Hi, I’m Joe. I used to wear a hat all the
time to hide the fact I am prematurely balding. Not any more. Now I confidently walk into any room.”

“My name is Ellen and I have lost 45 pounds in the last 3 months. I can’t wait for my reunion now!”

“Hi, I’m Joe. I used to wear a hat all the
time to hide the fact I am prematurely balding. Not any more. Now I
confidently walk into any room.”

We are a nation of quick fixes.

These are the types of sales pitches that try to get you to buy everything from juicers to diet pills to hair-plugs to tapes you listen to while you sleep. None of it is new. There have been get-rich-quick schemes around forever just like there are get-thin schemes out there now. We are a nation enthralled with self-help gadgets and promotions and plans, but when you look beyond the surface what you find is that the allure of many of these self-help schemes is that they are quick fixes often promising incredible results… with very little effort.

So we want to be thinner but we want to achieve it without missing a meal and preferably by using a pill. And we want more money but don’t want to do without any of the things that give us pleasure, so we need someone to show us a secret that only those of us forking over $29.99 plus shipping and handling will know. So what is the real role of work in the process of learning in this scenario?

In the past, our sense of fulfillment came through work.

People came to this country seeking the opportunity for freedom and for land. Once they achieved it, they worked. The homesteaders who expanded this country sought the opportunity to own and farm land, and once they achieved it they worked. My grandfather sought the opportunity to bring in enough money to support his family and he walked over 100 miles looking for work, and when he found it he worked.

The greatest generation sought a dream of freedom coupled with the principle of responsibility and they fought world wars, and then they came home and they worked. Women left the kitchens and industrialized this nation out of necessity, and when they were called they worked. The country we live in is great because we have always wanted self-improvement and we have always been willing to sacrifice and work to achieve it. It was that sacrifice and that sense of achievement that makes work so vital to us individually and to ourselves collectively as communities and even as a nation.

Earning achievement

Achievement is part of our history.

The generations before us worked to build a country and our communities through manual labor that in the course of time, through the effort of intellect, bore technological advances that automated much of that labor. As we industrialized and urbanized, we became less dependent on the need for manual labor and more dependent on intellectual labor. With these incredible advancements over the years we have also seen many of the daily chores become automated and antiquated. Preceding generations kept their promise to give us a world that is easier and better equipped for comfort than the one they knew. 

Most of us will never experience the hardship of hunger and the pain of true poverty. Most of us will never have to physically labor for survival but will instead work to provide. We truly have much to be thankful for, and we should always look back at the people before us and realize their sacrifices have created this world of comfort and relative ease.

When success comes easy, we don’t always appreciate it.

There is another side to having so much so readily available. When things come easier, sometimes we don’t appreciate them as much. So what is the role of work in the process of learning?

I remember my Mema (west Texan for Grandmother) telling me of the time when she was a little girl and her Mom gave her an orange from Christmas. She was 6 years old, and she had never had an orange before. As she told me the story, I could see her reliving the euphoric reaction to something as simple as an orange. While I could barely comprehend how someone could be so enthused over an orange, I was almost a little jealous of her experiencing something so profound within something so simple.

You see, my Mema’s dad died when she was 2 and her mom cleaned houses for food. She and her 4 brothers lived in a dirt dugout in Big Spring, Texas in the late 30s and early 40s, and this life led to an orange being a true gift. She used this experience as the backbone for a life dedicated to working and sacrificing and making sure her kids never wanted the way she wanted. Mema made sure her kids had the things she could not have and were secure in a way she had never known. She sacrificed and she worked, and the next generation had it better.

We all have stories of relatives, distant or close, who knew the true meaning of sacrifice and the unrelenting desire to work. This desire was born out of a sense of necessity. Early Americans worked out of necessity. The greatest generation fought and industrialized this country out of necessity. Medical and technical advances have been created and achieved out of necessity. And today, we are at a point where our new generations have access to much more than the generations of a few decades ago could have ever known.

We can talk across the world at the push of a button, watch a movie on a phone, and study on the same tablet that brings us our music and television and games. It feels like we have so much. It makes me wonder if we are risking losing that necessity that makes you want to work. In less than 100 years this nation has gone from a people coveting the opportunity to work and to be free to a people who have never know anything but freedom and convenience. There is an old saying that iron sharpens iron. 

When times are tough and opportunities are limited, people reach down inside themselves and push themselves to rise above. So what happens when times aren’t that tough? What happens when the consequences for not reaching inside yourself to improve and to know and to work has no true consequence? I guess a better way of asking it is: what are we doing to make sure our kids today understand the need to work and are motivated to develop the essential ethic of work? Are they learning the role of work in the process of learning?

How do you motivate kids to study when they can just Google it?

It is the conundrum you often face at the grocery store if you are ever checking out during a power outage or when the computers are down. The pained look on the cashier’s face as he tries to make change without the computer doing the adding and subtracting for him. What about the kids in class who can sit at a computer for 10 minutes and pull up every source necessary for a paper. This is a good thing, right?

I know I wish I would have had it when I was writing my thesis. But there is a dangerous side to convenience. Convenience breeds complacency, and complacency lowers the threshold for acceptable achievement. There was a very real satisfaction I achieved by doing my research by hand and spending the hours in the libraries hustling references and tracking down sources. I achieved my thesis, I didn’t just complete it.

Teachers today have a real quandary.
How do you prepare your students for this ever automating world while at the same time trying to imbue a self determination that is predicated on the value of real work? This balancing act is one that must be walked every day because we do live in an age where there is always an easier way to do things. But let me challenge you with this: sometimes harder is better. Sometimes your kids need to pull out the card catalog and revisit the Dewey Decimal system rather than Googling the information. Sometimes kids need to work manually to understand the perspective of automation. Kids need to work so that they understand how to; they also need to work so that they long for achievement the way past generations longed for a better life for their families.

Parents, as communities we have to help our teachers by assuring them that making our kids work is part of the expectation of education. Teachers, we have to fulfill our obligation to future generations by not only imparting academic facts, but more importantly teaching the curiosity and critical questioning that causes students to want to know and are therefore willing to learn. Our kids are at risk because they can gain information by touching a few buttons on their phone or tablet, but they are not asking the question of why. When information is so easily attained we celebrate our intellect, but in truth we are losing our desire to understand. When information is so easily attained, we mistake the ability to procure and recite that information with the true intellect necessary to find it and question it

There is true beauty in a job well done.

Whether it is a hole that has been dug to plant a tree or a paper that has been written with the old-fashioned effort of actually looking up sources and quoting and then questioning their assumptions. With work
comes pride. With pride comes effort. With effort comes results. And with results comes confidence. That confidence brings the ability to question. And then, with questions comes the beauty of the search for the answer. With the search comes the ability to think critically and this ability is what makes us great. And it all starts once again with one simple thing. The first step on the road to greatness is learning to work.

Classroom Challenges Assessment Module

Classroom Challenges Assessment Module

Small Group Assessments Made Easy
Every license for Leaps includes the Classroom Challenges tool. It’s a simple way to assess and address skills deficits within a small group or for the whole class. If there is an issue in the class, whether it is related to bullying, showing respect, personal responsibility – any of the many topics available in our system – the teacher will choose the topic that’s relevant for their current situation and then answer three questions. Based on those answers, the Leaps system will provide a set of appropriate lesson plans to use, aligned with the class grade/maturity level. 

 

We enlighten and empower educators to make a difference in the lives of their students, forever.

CASEL Core Competencies Align with Leaps

CASEL Core Competencies Align with Leaps

Leaps is particularly well-aligned with the CASEL core competencies, in fact our tools extend even beyond this important framework.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) outlines five core competencies of social and emotional learning (SEL). Each one is defined by a number of abilities necessary to achieve that competency.

Leaps goes a few steps further, breaking the core CASEL competencies down into very specific micro-skills. Our curricula and tools uniquely empower educators to measure and teach these micro-skills (many of which actually advance more than one core competency).

Leaps & CASEL: Common Goals

View PDF Guide on how Leaps and CASEL measure up – easy to share

  • As students learn and master each skill with Leaps, they undergo the social and emotional evolution necessary for success with family, peer groups, school, work and society as a whole.

  • Leaps is built on more than 25 years of real-world application in education, behavioral methods and mental health.

  • Our lesson plans and assessment tools make social and emotional learning more practical for teachers and more accessible for students.

 

Click the CASEL Core Competency below to see how LEAPS lessons correlate

LEAPS provides very specific micro-skill lessons for each competency. Each micro-skill can apply or contribute to the mastery of more than one Core Competency. See below for how these lessons correlate. Keep in mind that they are provided in a variety of formats, customized for age and maturity level, including the high school years, through 12th grade.

SELF-AWARENESS

Subcategories: Identifying emotions, accurate self-perception, recognizing strengths, self-confidence, self-efficacy

LEAPS addresses this CASEL core competency with these lessons:

  • Making New Friends
  • Understanding Stress
  • Controlling the Day
  • Understanding Personal Emotions
  • Controlling Yourself
  • Knowing What I Need
  • Having a Better Attitude
  • Finding Common Interests with Others
  • Setting Personal Goals for a Social Life
  • Setting Personal Boundaries
  • Saying “No” and Respecting Yourself
  • The Need for Attention
  • Self-Discipline
  • Managing Personal Limitations
  • Personal Accountability
  • Goal Setting for Task Completion
  • Setting Priorities
  • Calming Down when Taking a Test
  • Liking Yourself
  • Building Self Esteem
  • Setting Personal Standards
  • Defining Personal Expectations and Quality
  • Understanding the Need for Personal Hygiene
  • Receiving Criticism
  • Decision Making Process
  • Understanding Personal Responsibility
  • Silent Emotional Management
  • How Your Appearance Communicates Your Attitude
  • Self-Expression
  • Receiving Compliments
    SELF-MANAGEMENT

    Subcategories: Impusle control, stress management, self-discipline, self-motivation, goal-setting and organizational skill

    LEAPS addresses this CASEL core competency with these lessons:

    • Silent Emotional Management
    • Applying Emotional Management Skills
    • Communicating One on One
    • Communicating with a Teacher or Boss
    • Self-Expression
    • Receiving Instructions
    • Decision Making Process
    • Problem Solving Process
    • Living with a Mistake
    • Being a Friend vs.Being Used
    • Understanding Personal Responsibility
    • Personal Accountability
    • The Need for Time Management
    • Goal Setting for Task Completion
    • Setting Priorities
    • Time Management and Friends
    • Self-Discipline
    • Managing Distractions
    • Setting Personal Goals
    • Setting Personal Boundaries
    • Saying “No” to a Friend
    • Friends and the Classroom
    • Calming Down to Take a Test
    • Making a Mistake
    • The Rights and Responsibilities of the Student
    • Standards of Conduct
    • Controlling Yourself

     

        SOCIAL AWARENESS

        Subcategories: Perspective-taking, empathy, appreciaing diversity and respect for others

        LEAPS addresses this CASEL core competency with these lessons:

        • Making New Friends
        • The Responsibility of Friendship
        • Helping a Friend in Need
        • Friends and Family
        • Being a Friend vs Being Used
        • Friends and the Classroom
        • Understanding Respect
        • Showing Respect for Other People
        • Using Language to Convey Respect
        • Respecting Someone Else’s Property
        • Recognizing Cultural and Racial Differences
        • The Repercussions of Racial Intolerance
        • Having Pride in Your Personal Heritage
        • Living with Diversity: School and Community
        • Personal Space
        • Appropriate Conversation
        • Talking to Strangers
        • Communicating by Listening
        • The Process of Group Communication
        • Using Manners in a Crowd
        • Being Aware of Other People
        • When Someone Says “No”
        • Communicating with the Opposite Sex
        • Time Management and Friends
        • Finding Common Interests with Others
        • Reading the People Around You
        • How Emotions Affect Your Social Life
        • Saying No
            RELATIONSHIP SKILLS

            Subcategories: Communication, social engagement, relationship-building and teamwork

            LEAPS addresses this CASEL core competency with these lessons:

            • Making New Friends
            • The Responsibility of Friendship
            • Helping a Friend in Need
            • Friends and Family
            • Saying “No” to a Friend
            • Being a Friend vs Being Used
            • Friends and the Classroom
            • Showing Respect for Other People
            • Using Language to Convey Respect
            • Respecting Someone Else’s Property
            • The Process of Sharing
            • Having a Better Attitude
            • When Someone Else is Wrong
            • Personal Space
            • Communicating One on One
            • Body Language

             

            • Communicating by Listening
            • Using Manners in a Crowd
            • Reading Body Language
            • Receiving Compliments
            • Receiving Criticism
            • Finding Common Interests with Others
            • Reading the People Around You
            • Social Expectations for Physical Communication
            • Social Expectations for Verbal Communication
            • How Emotions Effect Your Social Life
            • Saying No
            • Understanding No
            • Appropriate Conversation
            • How Your Appearance Communicates Your Attitude
            • Talking to Strangers

             

                RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING

                Subcategories: Perspective-taking, empathy, appreciating diversity and respect for others

                LEAPS addresses this CASEL core competency with these lessons:

                • Decision Making Process
                • Making Informed Decisions
                • Decisions and Consequences
                • Problem Solving Process
                • Living with a Mistake
                • Understanding Personal Responsibility
                • Reactions Leading to Consequences
                • Personal Accountability
                • Goal Setting for Task Completion
                • Self-Discipline
                • Setting Priorities
                • Understanding Your Community: The Positives

                 

                • Understanding Your Community: The Negatives
                • Public Expectations for Behaviors
                • Setting Personal Goals for Social Life
                • Setting Personal Boundaries
                • Communicating by Listening
                • How Your Appearance Communicates Your Attitude
                • Being Aware of Other People
                • Hearing Someone Else
                • Recognizing and Avoiding Potential Problems
                • Making a Mistake
                • When Someone Else is Wrong
                • The Authority of the Schoo

                 

                   

                  CASEL’s guidance also makes clear the importance of an integrated approach, leveraging all of the five core competiencies beyond the classroom, making this crucial learning opportunity available for initiatives across an entire school, district-wide and even into students’ homes.

                  Leaps provides tools for specific skills and lessons, so teachers can use the program for just their classroom needs. However, Leaps also offers guidance, tools and programs that can be applied school or district-wide. Special resources for parents are also provided so that these lessons can be reinforced at home.

                  Schedule a quick call or demo

                  Our services team is ready to help sort out any questions about our tools.

                   

                  We enlighten and empower educators to make a difference in the lives of their students, forever.

                  Watch this brief demo

                  How is Leaps different from other SEL resources?

                  How is Leaps different from other SEL resources?

                  Leaps is different because it is born out of psychosocial remediation training.

                  Leaps was initially developed to help people, adults and children, who were moving from institutions into the community and they needed to increase their social intelligence and their emotional intelligence. Many of these individuals were very bright intellectually but they lacked the adaptive or emotive skills to fit into society. They were taught systematically how to grow their social capacity while simultaneously increase their emotional intelligence so that they could integrate into a more independent societal setting. Great success was achieved!

                  Fast forward to today, after decades of research, adaptation, and application Leaps has taken the clinical process of deficit assessment and addressment within the scope of social capacity and emotional intelligence and used it to create individual scope plans to increase learning capacity thereby increasing the student’s ability to learn. In other words, Leaps has taken the clinical and made it classroom ready for the educators. Assess your student, lessons are recommended to address the assessed deficits, progress is measured, targets are given, success is achieved.

                  The wonderful thing about increasing a student’s social and emotional learning capacity is that when the student learns to sit in class and pay attention and get along with other students and the teacher and feel better about himself and understand the stresses and expectations of being a student – learning can occur – all learning. Leaps is Social and Emotional Learning.

                  To grasp how different Leaps is from other SEL programs, it is first important to fully understand social emotional learning (SEL) and having healthy expectations that match the depth and scope of the impact of good SEL on the learning and social context and assimilation of students. 

                  Let’s start with the S in SEL
                  The Because social skills, as a process, are such a known commodity in the educational lexicon, it would be easy to think that the S in SEL is simply referring to social skills but it refers to so much more. Social skills are often referred to as “soft skills”. This label is not mean to deride the importance of social skills but instead it refers to the individual malleability of each skill and the difficulty of truly differentiating each level of functioning for these skills.

                  Social skills, when presented in a set order, tend to come in a “one size fits all” program approach and this is where Leaps truly differentiates itself from other programs, where it is a true SEL initiative. Social capacity increases when the individual student’s social quotient, relevant age and intelligence, increases.

                  Leaps purposefully increases social capacity by assessing, understanding and addressing social deficits and strengths. By knowing the deficits and increasing capacity within assessed deficit areas while augmenting strengths the individual student’s social quotient – or maturation and age equivalency – increases. By purposefully increasing assessed deficit areas, thereby increasing measured capacity, the student’s social quotient increases. 

                  Leaps is maturing the student by assessing and addressing the areas of need within a social quotient context.

                  So how does this make Leaps different?
                  Think of it like this – Intelligence is a measure of functionality. Years ago, intelligence was a more literal measurement of ability to intellectualize information. But in recent years, it has been understood that intelligence is a much more socialized process. Pure intellect without the ability to adaptively use it in social settings is not truly functional. In fact, intelligence is measured within the terms of Intelligence Quotient and Social Quotient. These are the two factors that create the intelligence formula.

                  It is known that Social Quotient or maturation directly impacts a student’s ability to succeed in the classroom or with friends or even at home. So as Leaps increases a student’s social abilities and increases a student’s social quotient it actually increases the student’s overall ability to intellectualize the quotient skills that cross those malleability lines such as problem solving and understanding consequences. This is achieved through the chaining of deficit based skills within the scope of the prescriptive plan that Leaps provides to address the deficits. Individual skills are learned but overarching maturation skills begin to foment that mature the student to targeted age equivalency targets. This is known as the psychosocial remediation.

                  In other words, the specific skills that are taught to ameliorate assessed deficits do so in an ordered manner which in turn helps the student to socially mature at an appropriate age equivalency rate which then makes the process of classroom learning and social setting interaction more attainable. As the student learns the Leaps skills that are targeting the student’s assessed deficits, the student is becoming more socially adept which is giving the student the skills to be a better classroom learner and a more socially amenable option to his or her peers. He is a better student and a better friend so he has a better chance to learn and a better change to be socially accepted.

                  Why does that matter?
                  When social skills are presented in a non-directive fashion then targeting results is difficult because there isn’t a true starting point for the training. Leaps takes a very different approach because it gives the teacher multiple mechanisms to determine the best skills to teach. Leaps makes available “Classroom Challenges” which is a group observational assessments which allow the teacher to make behavioral observations of the class and Leaps then prioritizes, within the selected skill set, the lessons most necessary in a priority order for the class.

                  Leaps also has multiple versions of individual assessments that will fit the needs of the students. These assessments will provide a full profile of the student with concomitant teaching and training strategies. Leaps also has a triage form assessment that will provide a benchmark functionality determination along with next step recommendations. Leaps takes the breadth of social skills and makes the scope manageable through planned teaching in formats driven by informational data through multi-platformed assessment options.

                  The E in SEL is also a critical component of growth for any student.
                  Emotional growth and emotional intelligence represents the ability to identify and understand and manage and communicate effectively the feelings that come to the student often or sporadically. So how is Leaps different in addressing the E? This one is tricky. Emotions aren’t clearly discernible. The end product of emotions are discernible but the actual emotion itself is not. A frown or a tear or a smile or an outburst is easily seen but what is happening inside the student’s mind is known only to that student. So what do we do and how do we do it differently?

                  Leaps approaches emotions as part of the continuum of the psychosocial process. This means that neither emotions nor social capacity nor intelligence nor physical influencers exist in a vacuum. Instead, emotional skills training is approached with the same logic and clinical fervor precision as social capacity training. The student is assessed for emotional skills strengths and deficits. When the deficits are identified they are addressed in a priority order with a learning process that teaches the skills necessary to not only learn the skill but to practice it within a contextualized setting so that the student can assimilate the skill. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand that emotions can be controlled but at the same time respected and understood.

                   

                   

                   

                  We enlighten and empower educators to make a difference in the lives of their students, forever.

                  Watch this brief demo