Social emotional competence impacts academic achievement and social success throughout school and has implications in adulthood. Current educational frameworks focus on academic objectives while neglecting social emotional learning, which contributes to student violence. Increasing social emotional competence in students is necessary to alter negative behaviors. Kindergarten teachers from 11 school districts in rural Northeast Georgia participated in the study by completing an online survey. The survey included two parts; one portion was created by previous researchers while the second was created for the purpose of this research. This study sought to investigate teacher understanding of social emotional learning and teacher use of social emotional sections of Georgia's kindergarten assessment. Survey results showed that teachers lacked foundational understanding of social emotional learning and instruction; however, participants generally supported the idea of social emotional learning. The study further evaluated portions of the GKIDS assessment to determine missing behavioral objectives. Results indicated that the social emotional sections of GKIDS need additional behavioral descriptors to improve the quality of social emotional instruction. Finally, the study used criteria for quality assessment to evaluate the construction of the GKIDS' rubrics. Results showed that the rubrics were excessive in length, therefore overwhelming teachers and hindering the effective use of the assessment. Furthermore, terminology on the rubrics was vague and did not adequately define desired observable behaviors. Current social emotional practices must be further examined to determine instructional effectiveness. Professional development must be provided to enhance teacher understanding of social emotional learning and to improve social emotional instruction.
|Commitee:||Cummings, Robert, Palmour, Julie|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Georgia|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social research, Early childhood education, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||GKIDS, Kindergarten, Social emotional competence, Social emotional curriculum, Social emotional learning, Teacher perspectives of social emotional learning|
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