Date of Award

Summer 1-1-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education: Education Research


Curriculum & Foundations

First Advisor

Voight, Adam

Second Advisor

Dr. Glenda Cotner

Third Advisor

Dr. Shereen Naser


Recent research in education indicates that social and emotional learning (SEL) programs in urban K-12 schools not only improve students’ academic level but also improves their quality of life. This study employed semi-structured interviews with SEL teachers to understand the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a SEL (Social-emotional learning) program in an urban district. From the study, several barriers were identified by participants. The most significant one pertained to the limited training and in some cases, the quality of the training prior to implementing a SEL program, as well as the need for ongoing training. Participants also indicated that there was a need for more unity in terms of SEL being embraced by the entire staff and implemented as a school-wide initiative. Another barrier was economic, specific to funding of the initial year of the program but more importantly, the sustainability in terms of quality implementation. Facilitators identified by participants included partnerships the district has with non-profit organizations to provide SEL implementers and the amount of student engagement SEL programming encouraged and gained.