Perspectives on Social Emotional Learning of K-5 Teachers: A Qualitative Study

dc.contributor.authorJones, Heather
dc.description.abstractThere needs to be more information on how teachers use social-emotional learning (SEL) in the elementary classroom. The problem is that elementary teachers’ familiarity with effectively teaching SEL lessons in the general education classroom is unknown. A gap in literature exists, including research that explores elementary teachers’ knowledge of SEL in metro Atlanta Title 1 schools. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand the elementary teachers teaching in Grades K–5, their knowledge, and their perspectives on effectively implementing SEL in education. The theoretical framework shows how the sociocultural learning theory supports the study. Three research questions focus on how teachers define SEL, implement SEL, and on their professional development on SEL. A case study design was used with a sample size of 20 out of a target population of 51 certified K–5 educators. Participants were selected using a questionnaire; they gave their signed consent and then participated in an interview and focus group. The data were hand coded using a theoretical thematic analysis framework. Seven final themes were found: self-awareness, social awareness, relationships, effects on academic performance, lack of proper training, lack of support, and lack of time. Results show that teachers define SEL as self-awareness and social awareness. Teachers implement SEL by building relationships with students, and they say social-emotional development affects students’ academic performance. Teachers expressed a lack of proper training, support, and time for SEL. Recommendations for further research include identifying an expanded participant sample for a quantitative study or using different schools or ongoing professional development for a qualitative study.
dc.subject.lcshEarly childhood educationen_US
dc.subject.lcshEducation, elementaryen_US
dc.subject.lcshTeachers—Training ofen_US
dc.subject.lcshQualitative researchen_US
dc.titlePerspectives on Social Emotional Learning of K-5 Teachers: A Qualitative Study
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