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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social and Emotional Learning in North Carolina Public Middle Schools
by Carruth, Mattie, M.A., Prescott College, 2016, 102; 10113338
Abstract (Summary)

The inclusion of social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools is becoming a pertinent topic in the field of education. Teachers and administrators are recognizing a need to support students’ social and emotional growth alongside their academics. Young adolescents in grades 6 – 8 are in a developmental stage during which the acquisition of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills could be particularly beneficial and supportive to their ability to lead healthy lives. In this project-based thesis, the author based her research on the question; how are North Carolina (NC) public schools supporting the social and emotional development of their middle school students? This question was formulated in order to support the project of this thesis, the creation of a development plan for a public charter middle school in NC that focuses on social and emotional learning. The research method utilized in this study was grounded theory as developed by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss (1967). Data was collected through a survey sent to public middle schools across NC and through interviews conducted with school administrators. Constant comparative analysis was the process through which all of the data was analyzed. Results of this research found that 80% of the surveyed schools implement SEL programming and the majority of those schools believe SEL to positively affect many facets of their school including academic success of the students, physical and emotional safety, and the relationship between the students and teachers. Strategies the participating schools used to implement SEL programming were also discovered in this study. These consist of having distinct lessons on SEL topics and skills, integrating parts of SEL throughout the entire school, use of mentoring, inclusion of aspects of SEL in student discipline, having programming meet the unique needs of the school, and evaluating the students’ progression in SEL. Results of this study also indicated several design elements of SEL programming, which include having SEL be a united effort of all faculty and administration, providing teachers with support, sharing responsibility for the programming with the students, and allocating sufficient time to SEL programming. The findings of this study have been used by the author to inform the creation of the school development plan included in this thesis. By adding to the discussion of how to provide SEL to middle school students in NC, this study can be a resource to any educator in the process of developing SEL programming for their students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lien, Ali H.
Commitee: Caniglia, Noel C., Maggart, Ed
School: Prescott College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Middle School education, School administration
Keywords: SEL, Social and emotional learning
Publication Number: 10113338
ISBN: 978-1-339-76447-4
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