Date of Award

8-2018

Rights

© 2018 Kristen Schebell

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Marylin Newell

Second Advisor

Jennifer Galipeau

Third Advisor

Ruth Ann Cowger

Abstract

Some schools have started implementing programs to assist with social and emotional development in students. Social and emotional skills include the ability to get along well with others, manage one’s emotions, and self-motivate; all of which impact the academic performance and behaviors of students (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004). Unfortunately, many schools are lacking the additional supports needed, such as school counselors and social workers, to implement social and emotional learning programs or to provide social and emotional support to students (Education Week Research Center, 2015).

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of social and emotional learning and social and emotional support on academic achievement and behaviors of students in a rural school in Maine. The site of this study was an elementary school in a rural town in northern Maine. The reason this school was chosen for the study was because it was a part of a three-year grant from the 2015-16 school year through the 2017-18 school year, in which a school counselor and social worker were added to the school to provide social and emotional support and teach social and emotional skills to students.

The study explored three research questions: 1) How do teachers and administrators perceive SEL and SES implementation and its impact on the school? 2) What changes occurred in NWEA scores during the two years that additional social and emotional supports were in place? 3) What changes occurred in student behavior incidents during the two years that additional social and emotional supports were in place? Data collection included student testing and behavioral data, teacher surveys, and a teacher focus group discussion. The findings suggest the need for social and emotional supports, such as school counselors and social workers, in all schools, especially rural schools that often lack those additional supports. Teachers perceived the additional supports were important to students’ wellbeing. The additional social and emotional supports in place through the school counselor and social worker were associated with positive changes in student behavior student behavior.

Comments

Ed.D. Dissertation

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