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Training Teachers to Identify and Refer At-Risk Students Through Computer Simulation

  • Elizabeth Gates BradleyEmail author
  • Brittany Kendall
Article

Abstract

Suicide is a major public health issue and is the second leading cause of death among adolescents. Teachers are in an ideal position to screen and refer at-risk students, but most teachers have not received adequate training in this area. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a computer simulation on training teachers in effective identification and referral practices for middle school students at-risk for bullying and suicidal ideation. Students in a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in New York State completed At-Risk for Middle School Educators, a computer simulation created by Kognito Interactive that is intended to effectively train teachers in effective identification and referral practices for middle school students at-risk for bullying and suicidal ideation. Participants completed pre- and post-intervention surveys and participated in an online discussion of the simulation training. Results of a paired-samples t test indicated that At-Risk for Middle School Educators significantly improved the likelihood that teachers will recommend a student in distress for psychological services. It also significantly improved teacher confidence and competence in approaching and referring at-risk students to mental health services. Although the sample size was small and further research is warranted, results suggest that At-Risk for Middle School Educators is an effective training tool for educators in the area of the identification and referral of at-risk students.

Keywords

Educational technology Computer simulations Teacher training Suicide prevention At-risk youth 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study was reviewed by the Empire State College IRB and deemed to be exempt from human subjects approval.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SUNY Empire State CollegeSaratoga SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Schenectady Public SchoolsSchenectadyUSA

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