Date of Award


Degree Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)




A dissertation in the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and Human Development presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education.

Committee Chair

T. Lee Morgan, Ph.D.

2nd Reader

David G. Title, Ed.D.

3rd Reader

Christine Lupien, M.A.


The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of professional development (PD) on teachers' knowledge of social-emotional learning and their social-emotional competence and determine if PD leads to teacher growth in their ability to support students' social-emotional development and competence. The dissertation followed the Improvement Science Dissertation in Practice (ISDiP) to address the problem of practice and increase students' social-emotional capacity through teacher implementation. To improve teacher's social-emotional capacity for classroom implementation, the researcher created and instructed a seven-week professional development for teachers (n=7) in a mid-sized suburban school district that focused on building social-emotional capacity and strategies for classroom implementation. This convergent mixed-methods design study utilized the quantitative data of pre- and post-SEL self-reflection surveys and qualitative data through weekly reflections and small-group semi-structured interviews. Data showed significant growth in all categories surveyed from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Self-Assessing Educator Social and Emotional Competencies and Instruction. Participants also felt that the strategies positively impacted their classroom environment by increasing student engagement and teacher-student relationships.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.