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A phenomenological inquiry of teacher perspectives and experiences on social emotional learning in students
Format: Thesis
Publication Year: 2017
Publisher: McGill University Libraries
Place of Publication: [Montreal]
Source ID: shanti-sources-88706
Abstract: "This qualitative phenomenological study explored teachers' understanding of students' social-emotional learning (SEL). Students with well-developed SEL skills are linked to higher academic achievement, increased school engagement, and improvements in psychological well-being. Hence, there has been an increased emphasis on developing, researching, and implementing SEL intervention programs in the classroom and school setting. However, teachers' narratives and experiences with SEL are often neglected when designing effective SEL programs, which have historically been based on quantifiable data. The research questions that guided the study were: (1) What are teachers' experiences in SEL of their students? and (2) How are teachers' understanding of SEL shaped? Data was collected through phone interviews with three elementary school teachers in Canada. Analysis of the data was conducted through a coding and thematic approach used in qualitative phenomenological inquiry. The following themes emerged from the data: gathering anecdotal information, interpreted responsibilities, and ineffective systems. Gathering anecdotal information described the ongoing process of teacher observation and collection of students' social-emotional functioning in an informal yet authentic manner. Interpreted responsibilities described teachers navigating through school processes to inform their role and action as social-emotional educators. Imperfect systems described perceptions of insufficient school initiatives in addressing the social-emotional needs of all students. Taken altogether, implications for incorporating SEL in schools suggests greater collaborative efforts amongst community stakeholders and holistic school-wide approaches.