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Current Research

The Researchers
  • Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada along with her colleagues  
The Study:
  • Randomized Control Trial (RCT) Definition: A type of scientific experiment design that randomly assigns the participants to an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group receives the “treatment” or experience that is being measured, while the control group does not in order to compare the differences.  evaluating the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of the Taxi Dog Educational Program was completed over the 2013-2014 school year
The Participants:
  • 32 classrooms across 3 public school districts in the US and Canada
    • 514 kindergarten to 3rd grade children (representing multiple ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds) and their teachers
The Procedure:
  • Classrooms were randomly assigned to receive wither the Taxi Dog Program or serve as comparisons by continuing their scheduled yearly curricula.  
  • Teachers assigned to the Taxi Dog Program classrooms were provided with a manual outlining the Taxi Dog Program lesson plans, and were provided with all of the accompanying materials (class set of puppets, videos, books and posters) and access to the Taxi Dog website which provides additional instructional resources.  
  • Teachers in the Taxi Dog classrooms implemented the 9 Taxi Dog lessons over an 8-week period, with each lesson lasting approximately 20-40 minutes.  
  • To examine the effectiveness of the Taxi Dog Program on student outcomes, a series of measures were administered both before and after the implementation of the Taxi Dog Program.  These included:
    • Measures assessing children's social and emotional understanding and behaviors (via teacher reports);
    • Measures assessing emotion understanding, altruism, and self-regulation (via child assessments).
  • Teachers implementing the Taxi Dog lessons also completed measures assessing implementation fidelity (for example how closely they followed the lessons as written) and dosage (the amount of content implemented from all 9 lessons).  
  • At the end of the program, students who received the Taxi Dog lessons were also individually interviewed in order to obtain information about their experiences and evaluation of the Taxi Dog Educational Program.
The Results:
  • Results of the research was presented at the biennial meeting of The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD; www.SRCD.org) held in Philadelphia, PA in March 2015.
  • Further dissemination of results to follow!