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Research supports the importance of policies and interventions to infuse social emotional curricula in schools. The role of teachers in supporting young children's social and emotional readiness for classroom learning has been recognized, but instruction in children's well-being and social emotional competence is a low priority in teacher preparation programs. In this study we, used qualitative methods to examine whether we could successfully infuse an undergraduate curriculum and instructional course with social emotional learning content. The article reports on this effort, and considered the following questions: How can courses infused with SEL content impact prospective teachers' views on the overall role of emotions in the classroom? What is the influence of the course on preservice teachers' conceptions of SEL and its association with children's classroom learning and behavior? How can teacher preparation programs encourage prospective teachers to consider children's social emotional skills once they enter the classroom as teachers? At course end, the 15 enrolled students responded to predetermined questions as part of a self-reflection assignment. Using grounded theory methods, three themes were identified from participants' reflections, including the connection between SEL and academic learning, shifting from teacher- to student-centered pedagogy, and the desire for continued learning related to SEL. An in-depth examination of these themes revealed that SEL concepts can be successfully infused in an undergraduate course on curriculum and instruction. Implications for teacher training are discussed and future avenues for research are presented.
Eighty-seven preservice teachers, some of whom had preschool teaching experience, were randomly assigned to an intervention that included training in breathing awareness meditation infused with social-emotional learning (n = 43) or a control group that received training in (n = 44) in breathing awareness meditation only. Both groups showed an increase in mindfulness from pre- to posttest. However, as expected, dimensions of emotional competence improved more significantly for preservice teachers in the intervention group. Increases were also greater for participants with teaching experience. Both groups also increased in the belief that classroom misbehavior would result in negative cognitive and social costs to children, but a larger increasewas observed for the intervention group. Implications for teacher preparation are discussed.
The primary goal of this article is to situate the findings from evidence-based studies of social emotional learning (SEL) interventions into a broader social context by reframing the discussion to consider how aspects of sociocultural competence impact the development and delivery of programs. The limitations of current SEL intervention efforts are discussed and a multilevel heuristic model that identifies and defines the theoretical constructs that we believe are culturally bound and associated with the content, implementation, and evaluation components of SEL intervention programs is presented. We point out constraints associated with this effort and offer specific strategies and activities by which school personnel involved in these activities can be encouraged to embrace socioculturally based SEL practices in their classrooms and offer guidance for future research.