The following three year, formative evaluation closely watched the implementation of a program to integrate social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum into Lakeland Union High School. Like many other U.S. public schools, Lakeland Union High School is in need of addressing their student's poor academic achievement and negative behavioral actions. Lakeland Union chose SEL programming to focus their instructional efforts toward. SEL programming focuses on five specific competency areas specific to promoting prosocial skills to young learners. Integrative SEL programming designed for classroom instruction is fairly new to the educational field, yet is highly regarded for its instructional approach.
Three rounds of data collected over three academic school years were utilized to investigate the school's experience with implementing SEL programming. A survey was used for round one, in exploring the relationship between SEL homeroom programming with the attitudes of students and teachers at Lakeland Union High. The second round of data collection interviewed several teachers concerning the implementation process to gain depth and to continue exploring SEL implementation. Data collected in the third round involved additional exploratory techniques of classroom observation, teacher focus groups and administrator interviews, and gained further insight into SEL programming integration.
Teacher and student attitudes toward the SEL first round programming were not favorable. The homeroom SEL activity programming approach was dropped after a formal grievance was filed by the teacher's union. An integrated SEL classroom approach was inserted for the second round of programming. Teachers favored this approach to SEL programming, although reported issues and challenges with the school wide SEL initiative. The third round of SEL implementation continued with the SEL integrated classroom approach. It was determined that the SEL initiative at this point was still not fully thriving at the school. Findings in all three rounds provide information integral for program improvement, which leads to three primary recommendations for the school to address in their continuing efforts with SEL programming. Future programming recommendations include: 1) administration sets clear parameters for the SEL initiative, 2) professional development focused on SEL integrated curriculum programming, and 3) outline SEL integrative curriculum assessment for evidence-based practice.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2009. Major: Education, Rec/Park/Leisure Studies. Advisor: Keith C. Russel. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 213 pages, appendices A-Q.
Goetz, Tamara Ann.
Promoting social emotional learning in education: a three year formative evaluation of curricular program implementation..
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