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Infusing social emotional learning into the teacher education curriculum

Research supports the importance of policies and interventions to infuse social emotional curricula in schools. The role of teachers in supporting young children's social and emotional readiness for classroom learning has been recognized, but instruction in children's well-being and social emotional competence is a low priority in teacher preparation programs. In this study we, used qualitative methods to examine whether we could successfully infuse an undergraduate curriculum and instructional course with social emotional learning content. The article reports on this effort, and considered the following questions: How can courses infused with SEL content impact prospective teachers' views on the overall role of emotions in the classroom? What is the influence of the course on preservice teachers' conceptions of SEL and its association with children's classroom learning and behavior? How can teacher preparation programs encourage prospective teachers to consider children's social emotional skills once they enter the classroom as teachers? At course end, the 15 enrolled students responded to predetermined questions as part of a self-reflection assignment. Using grounded theory methods, three themes were identified from participants' reflections, including the connection between SEL and academic learning, shifting from teacher- to student-centered pedagogy, and the desire for continued learning related to SEL. An in-depth examination of these themes revealed that SEL concepts can be successfully infused in an undergraduate course on curriculum and instruction. Implications for teacher training are discussed and future avenues for research are presented. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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