SOCIAL SKILLS: A Foundation for Learning


[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Michael Sedler



According to research by Labor and Industry, a lack of social skills is the major reason people are fired from jobs. Though most educators agree and understand the significance of this area, the educational field has not provided adequate training or preparation for the majority of its employees. This class will allow you the opportunity to gain valuable strategies in teaching social skills and self-esteem. Many methods presented can be utilized immediately in a school without sacrificing valuable content time. In addition, specific curriculums will be examined and explored for use within a school. This information will prove valuable to all educators.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

     1. Listed key social skills necessary ito an optimal school experience.
     2. Analyzed and developed a program of presentation for each of these skills.
     3. Provided strategies to other educators in areas of increasing self-esteem in students.
     4. Effectively integrate skill building concepts into every day curriculum.
     5. Implemented a social skills program in a classroom, group, or other setting.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Chosen text from bibliography plus all handout materials, case study, and samples.
Text may be purchased directly from publishing companies.
List of all companies and phone numbers are located in the back of the student manual.

None. All reading is online.


Once you register, log onto the instructorʼs website at Click on Classes, then scroll down and click on Social Skills: A Foundation for Learning manual. The manual will download as a PDF file to your computer.



Assignment #1: Read the Manual.

Read the manual and all materials supplied by the instructor.

Assignment #2: Read a Book.

Read a book from the Bibliography or one of your choice, with instructorʼs prior approval. If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. Once you have read the book, respond to the following questions:
What area of the book do you plan to implement in your teaching or life approach?
Share one specific area of learning that was new to you.
If you were going to share this book with another person, who would that be and why?
Send a 2-3 page summary to instructor: Subject to read: ʻSocial #2.ʼ

Assignment #3: Pete’s Day or Sarah’s Birthday Party.

Do social skills activity (Peteʼs Day or Sarahʼs birthday party) with a class.
Write a 1-2 page synopsis and
Send to instructor: Subject to read: ʻSocial #3.ʼ

Assignment #4: Develop a program.

Choose two students. Develop a social skills program as outlined. Choose one specific skill for each.
To maintain privacy, please do not refer to students in your paper by their actual name, but rather use an alias or designation such as “Student A.”

Assignment #5: Observe a Classroom.

Observe another classroom. If during a non school time, observe a social atmosphere (park, playground). 
Make note of social skills deficits and strengths. Share with a fellow educator.
Send a 1 page summary of your observations to instructor: Subject to read: ʻSocial #5.ʼ

Assignment #6: Guideline Formatting.

Do “Discussion Guidelines” worksheet in class. Develop own “guideline format.”
Send to instructor: Subject to read: ʻSocial #6.ʼ



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #7: Implement Program.

Implement the developed individual student program from #4.

Assignment #8: Classroom Plan.

Develop one(1) "whole" classroom plan and implement it. Make necessary modifications. (See sample in the manual.)
Make a copy of your program.
Send to instructor: Subject to read: ‘Social #8.’

Assignment #9: Lesson Development.

Assignment #9:  You must choose either “A” or “B”  (Required for 400 and 500 Level) 
Assignment #A: (SEND commentary to Instructor)
Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
Include any student feedback on your lesson.
(The following is encouraged but not required):
Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by also contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library located at
Assignment #B:  (SEND lesson and summary to Instructor)
Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.
Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.
 (The following is encouraged but not required):
Please refer to the guidelines on our blog prior to writing your article.
Please email a copy to Rebecca Blankinship ( THI blog curator and media specialist. 
Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 
Subject line to read: (Course Name, Blog)
Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻSocial #9 (A or B.)ʼ

Assignment #10: (500 Level only)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following assignment options:
Option A)  Interview one of the students used for skill building and obtain feedback: was the program helpful, were they involved enough in the process, what they learned, what needs to be changed, different format, etc.  Write a 2-3 page summary.
Send to instructor: Subject to read: ʻSocial #10-A.ʼ
Option B)  Another assignment of your own design with prior approval of the instructor.
Send to instructor: Subject to read: ʻSocial #10-B.ʼ


Assignment #11: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Mike Sedler, D.Min., M.S.W. brings over 30 years of educational experience as an administrator, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.  

He provides consultation services and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses.  He has been teaching “adult learning classes” since the mid 1980’s and has had the privilege of working for The Heritage Institute for over 25 years. 

He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification (K-8).  His combination of classroom experience, behavior intervention approaches, and involvement in working with hundreds of families allows for an excellent blend in all his classes.

Mike is passionate about children and emphasizes the importance of avoiding power struggles, offering options/choices to children, setting clear boundaries and guidelines as well as finding a place of positive engagement and connection with each individual.  His heart for people and emphasis on positive communication are found throughout his seminars and classes.

All of Mike’s classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found ongoing success in implementing Mike’s clear and concise approaches.


SOCIAL SKILLS: A Foundation for Learning

Bloomquist, Michael.  The Practioner Guide to SkillsTraining for Struggling Kids.  Guilford Press, 2012.  Practical tools to build self control in students (grades K-12.)  800 365 7006.

Claassen, Ron and Harvin Claassen, Roxanne.  Making Things Right.  CreateSpace, 2015.  Assist in training students as mediators and support (Grades 4-12.) 

Cline, Foster and Fay, Jim. Parenting With Love And Logic. Love and Logic Institute. 2014. New approaches to working with children (grades K-12.)  800 455 7557.

Diamond, Susan.  Social Rules For Kids.  AAPC Publishing, 2011.  100 social rules for home, school, and community (grades K-6.)  877 277 8254.

Dillon, Jo and Pratt, Dennis.  BoysTown Press, 2011. Lesson plans and activities for students (grades K-12.)  800 282 6657.

Giler, Janet.  Socially ADDept.  Jossey Bass, 2011.  Teach students with ADD, LD, and Aspergers specific critical social skill (grades K-12.)   800 434 3422.

Goldstein, Arnold.  Aggression Replacement Training.  Research Press, 2010.  Social skills manual for working with aggression (grades 7-12.)  800 519 2707. 

Gray, Carol and Attwood, Tony.  The New Social Story Book.  Future Horizons, 2011.  Teach the process of social stories to children with special needs (grades K-12.)  800 489 0727.

Laugeson, Elizabeth.  The PEERS Curriculum: Social Skills Training for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Routledge Press, 2013.  Step by Step social skills ideas for ASD (grades P-12.)  800 634 7064.

Mannix, Darlene.  Social Skill Activities For Secondary Students With Special Needs. Jossey-Bass, 2009.  Practical resources to teach social skills (grades 6-12.)   800 434 3422.

Mazza, James and Dexrter-Mazza, Elizabeth.  DBT Skills in Schools. Guillford Press, 2016.  Overview of DBT with adolescents (grades 6-12.)   800 365 7006.

McGinnis, Ellen.  Skillstreaming Series. Research Press, 2011. Series of books to help with 50 individual skills specific to grade levels (Grades K-12.)   800 519 2707.

Nelsen, Jane, et al. Positive Discipline Series. Empowering People Inc. 2013. Create cooperation and self-discipline in students (grades K-12, series)   800 456 7770.

Reif, Sandra.  How To Reach And Teach ADD/ADHD Children and Teens. Wiley and Sons, 2016.  Intervention book full of strategies (grades K-12.).  877 762 2974.