Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS) is a comprehensive program for promoting emotional and social competencies and reducing aggression and behavior problems in elementary school-aged children while simultaneously enhancing the educational process in the classroom. The curriculum is designed to be used by educators and counselors in a multi-year, universal prevention model. The PATHS Curriculum was developed for use in the classroom setting with all elementary school aged-children, but it has also been researched with a variety of special needs students (deaf, hearing-impaired, learning disabled, emotionally disturbed, mildly mentally delayed, and gifted). Ideally it should be initiated at the entrance to schooling and continue through Grade 5 and be taught three times per week for a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day. The curriculum provides teachers with systematic, developmentally-based lessons, materials, and instructions for teaching their students emotional literacy, self-control, social competence, positive peer relations, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. PATHS lessons include instruction in identifying and labeling feelings, expressing feelings, assessing the intensity of feelings, managing feelings, understanding the difference between feelings and behaviors, delaying gratification, controlling impulses, reducing stress, self-talk, reading and interpreting social cues, understanding the perspectives of others, using steps for problem-solving and decision-making, having a positive attitude toward life, self-awareness, nonverbal communication skills, and verbal communication skills. Information and activities are also included for use with parents.
National Site: PATHS