Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Second Advisor

Evelyn Thomas


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore secondary public school English Language Arts (ELA) teachers’ perceptions of implementing ELA curriculum as it may relate to social and emotional learning (SEL) goals. The problem explored was the rise of adolescents’ mental health concerns (CDC, 2019) and the role of secondary schools in attempting to address these concerns. The literature on this topic explored the mental health crisis for adolescents, the history and philosophy of SEL, and how secondary schools are integrating SEL, and how the ELA curriculum may be effective at meeting SEL goals. Six secondary public ELA teachers shared their perceptions through semi-structured interviews. Data from these interviews were coded and analyzed using a 5-step data analysis process developed by Creswell and Poth (2018). The analysis of the findings indicated that participants had an accurate understanding of the definition and goals of SEL. Participants offered multiple examples of strategies and lessons they used to meet SEL goals within their classroom routines and ELA curriculum and found that the ELA curriculum was a natural fit for meeting SEL goals. Additionally, participants believed that it was most effective for their adolescent students to address SEL without calling it SEL. This study is significant because research on adolescent mental health supported the idea that decreasing stigma by normalizing discussion of mental health can have beneficial outcomes for adolescent students. This research has implications for administrators, educators of all content areas, and secondary students.


Ed.D. Dissertation

Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.