Date of Award

Fall 2018


© 2018 Naomi J. Stahl

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Brandie Shatto

Third Advisor

Kate Salas


This qualitative study considers the results of a needs assessment survey conducted at the Cranberry Elementary School in Cranberry, Massachusetts. Fifteen early childhood educators responded to questions involving social-emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom, specifically relating to the Massachusetts Standards for Preschool and Kindergarten Social and Emotional Learning, and Approaches to Play and Learning. A thorough literature review revealed a gap in the literature regarding teachers’ experiences implementing SEL programs.

The results revealed information about the current understanding and potential for improvement in implementing those standards. Five themes emerged from the data: Interest Level, High Level of Comfort, Assessment, Time, and Professional Development. This research revealed both commitment to the instruction of social-emotional learning skills from educators, as well as need to feel validated for their efforts.

This study offers recommendations for school leaders and educators responsible for assessing and addressing social-emotional learning standards, including continued monitoring of school culture and climate, ongoing professional development, the inclusion of cooperating districts in further study, and the inclusion of SEL training in teacher preparation programs.

This research study added to the body of knowledge about the gap within the existing literature.


Ed.D. Dissertation