Volume 5, Issue 1 (Spring 2011)
Literature Circles: Social and Leadership Development Among At-Risk Students
Emily L. Sportsman, Janine L. Certo, Sara E. Bolt, and Jeffrey A. Miller
ABSTRACT: School psychologists can promote the use of research-based interventions that not only address academic achievement but also promote social–emotional development. Literature circles are interactive group experiences in which children are grouped heterogeneously to select and discuss a common book. A sample of 112 students from 10 classrooms within one urban elementary school participated in literature circles for 4 months. Pretest and posttest Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition, data were collected to monitor students’ social and leadership skills across their participation in literature circles. Data analysis revealed large and significant growth in social and leadership skills among academically at-risk students. Average-achieving and high-achieving student subgroups also demonstrated growth in social and leadership skills. Implications for research and practice are discussed.