Teachers' Perceptions and Experiences of the Implementation of a Social-Emotional Learning Program in an Inner-city Public Elementary School
By: Jin-A Sung
Published: 5/20/2015
Uploaded: 03/12/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2015 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: implementation, Inner-city public schools, School-based Intervention, Social-Emotional Learning, teachers

Description/Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe how the 4Rs, a social and emotional learning (SEL) program, has been implemented in an inner-city public elementary school and to better understand teachers’ experiences with its implementation. It was conducted at a school that was in its third year of implementing the 4Rs, and was recommended by the program developer for its effective implementation. The participants of this study were the principal, the staff developer, and four teachers. The teacher participants, primary informants of this study, were selected based on purposeful sampling, taking into consideration the number of years of teaching experience they had had, and the grade level they were teaching at the time of study. Data were collected through interviews (with four teachers, the principal, and the staff developer of the 4Rs program), classroom observations of the teacher participants, and document analysis.

The findings revealed that several features contributed to the effectiveness of implementing the 4Rs at the research site. They include: (a) the initiative by insiders of the school, (b) active involvement and support of the principal, (c) designation of Monday as 4Rs day, and (d) provision of ongoing support for teachers in various forms (i.e., staff development, in-class coaching, and individual consultation).

Regarding teachers’ perceptions on changes in their teaching practices, the findings indicated that the 4Rs had positive impacts on teachers’ practices in several ways, although it did not promote dramatic changes in their beliefs and practices of all of the teacher participants. Rather, the teachers’ practices seemed to evolve as they garnered more experiences in implementing the program. The perceived changes in teaching practices reported by the teacher participants include: (a) sharing their feelings and personal experiences with their students in the classrooms more frequently, (b) paying more attention to students’ emotions and offering more activities involving emotions, (c) providing students with more opportunities to interact with each other in class, (d) transforming class rules into positive forms, and (e) using the “SEL vocabulary” in daily conversation. These changes, they reported, contributed to connecting themselves and their students, as well as creating a stronger sense of community in their classrooms.