Teachers’ and school leaders’ perceptions of SEL programming across the globe — A focus group study


Successful Social Emotional Learning programming in schools is dependent upon the priorities of and capacity of school leaders to guide this work. This qualitative study explored the global perspectives of teachers and school leaders about the role of school leadership in the acceptance and implementation of transformative social emotional learning in school programming and practices. Participants were 10 teachers and 10 school leaders from multiple countries working with elementary school students. Data were collected using a focus group methodology and a constructivist grounded theory design was employed. Comments were fairly consistent across countries and indicated that both teachers and school leaders shared a positive view about the importance of social emotional learning for their work within and beyond the classroom. Participants’ narratives also reflected perceptions of themselves as underprepared to address social emotional learning and identified social, political, and cultural barriers to this effort. Although limited by its qualitative design, concepts from this study may lead to theory-building, future empirical research, and innovative practice that can be applied globally to increase equitable access to social emotional learning training for educators and programming for students worldwide.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v10i1p89

Keywords: social emotional learning, school leaders, focus groups, grounded theory


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