Survey Assesses Students’ Social-Emotional Readiness

A recent survey of students taught by Arkansas Teacher Corps fellows found that students’ self-reported grit has increased since September 2021 when the fall survey was last administered and grit was rated the overall lowest. Students again rated self-management and instruction as the highest overall with little change from before. However, students also indicated a decrease in growth mindset, or the belief that a person’s intelligence and abilities can be improved through new learning, challenge, and practice.

Arkansas Teacher Corps utilizes a student survey to measure and track students’ social-emotional readiness each year. The survey measures students’ perceptions of  instruction, classroom environment, class engagement, grit, growth mindset, emotional regulation, self-efficacy, self-management, social awareness, and self-awareness.

Teachers were asked to administer surveys during class either electronically or on paper. Overall, 34 fellows administered surveys to 1908 students at 19 schools in 12 districts. Every fellow who administered the survey received an individualized report of their students’ average responses to identify priority areas and set student-specific goals. An identical post-survey will be administered in May to assess the extent to which their students have grown in social-emotional skills during the 2022-23 school year.

Students of ATC Fellows were generally confident in their social-emotional skills with a majority of students giving high ratings on each item. Students rated self-management and instruction most positively. Self-efficacy and class engagement were rated the lowest overall, with students significantly less likely to share what they learn in class with other people. Grit reflected a significant increase from the students who responded in fall 2021, whereas instruction, class engagement, and growth mindset saw slight decreases.

Compared to 2021, students this fall are much more likely to report staying interested in goals even if they take a long time, working when others stop to take a break, and finishing whatever they begin. Conversely, students this year are much less likely to hold a growth mindset, especially for students of ATC fellows teaching math. Students of ATC fellows teaching science and social studies were also less likely to find the content of their class interesting.