A Phenomenological Inquiry into High School Teachers’ Lived Experiences of Social Emotional Learning

Title: A Phenomenological Inquiry into High School Teachers’ Lived Experiences of Social Emotional Learning
Authors: Jobel, Janna
Date: 2022-06-30
Abstract: Numerous studies demonstrate the many benefits of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). However, existing SEL literature is primarily concerned with SEL program implementation in elementary schools. Moreover, the teacher’s role is often presented as delivering stand-alone SEL lessons from a prepackaged curriculum. Research indicates this approach is less effective with high school students. Consequently, high school teachers desire more SEL professional learning opportunities that consider the needs of their specific student population. In response, this phenomenological inquiry explores high school teachers’ experience of engaging students in SEL to better understand what supports high school teachers need. Data gathered from close phenomenological observations and interviews with three high school teachers in mathematics and physical education afforded the opportunity to orient, interpret, and describe the phenomenon of SEL-in-action. Rich descriptions of SEL-as-it-is-lived were generated and analyzed in relation to van Manen’s reflections on pedagogy and curriculum. The curriculum documents incorporating SEL into subject area frameworks were used to understand the curriculum-as-plan, and the teacher participants shared their lived experiences of engaging students in SEL in their classrooms to allow for analysis of their experience of SEL curriculum. Findings reveal that SEL manifests in pedagogical actions such as pacing their subject area curriculum to meet student needs, building student-teacher relationships, and in interactions involving caring for students. Teachers experienced SEL as living curricula, regardless of what subject was being taught, and often in moments where the curriculum-as-plan was disrupted. This suggests teachers would benefit from teacher education opportunities that allow them to develop the relational sensitivities attributed to adult SEL, mirrored in van Manen’s sense of pedagogical tact. Experiential opportunities to understand SEL within the context of secondary teacher education are recommended for teacher education and ongoing professional development.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/43748
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -