The exploration of challenges to inviting social emotional learning in the secondary suburban classroom
The focus to emphasize Social Emotional Learning in the classroom has increased due to both Kansas state requirements for individualized learning plans and lack of skills reported by the State Education Commissioner (KSDE, 2019). What has not kept up with these demands are viable researched curriculums for social emotional learning available to high schools and more specifically suburban high schools (Williamson, Modecki, and Guerra, 2016). Through the lens of invitational education (Purkey and Novak, 2011) and coupled with the work of Elias, Ferrito, and Moceri (2016), it was the goal of the researcher to answer the overarching question what challenges exist to inviting Social Emotional Learning into the Secondary Suburban Classroom? The location for the study was purposefully selected due to meeting the criteria of being a suburban school district with multiple high schools from which to draw data and examine commonalities or differences. The diversity of the locations allowed the researcher to utilize a mixed-methods approach to engage teachers in a survey and focus groups. Simultaneously, the researcher observed classrooms and documents for evidence of Social Emotional Learning. Finally, the researcher interviewed district and building level administrators for their understanding of supporting social emotional learning. Upon analysis of the various data points, three themes emerged from the data: The organization is unintentionally invitational, lack of dissemination and training on SEL Standards, and disparity of common routines and processes. From this research it can be concluded; challenges exist when suburban high schools invite social emotional learning into the classroom and building, and proper training, consistent communication and the invitational process should be considered when planning.
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