Date of Award


Degree Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

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


Earth Science


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.

The date of graduation for Julie Thompson Goldstein is May 2024.

Committee Chair

David G. Title, Ed.D

2nd Reader

Kathleen Wallace, Ed.D.

3rd Reader

Richard Fournier, Ed.D.


Research demonstrates that out-of school time (OST) programs featuring physical activity positively impact students' social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies, including self-regulation and collaboration skills. However, financial barriers prevent low-income students access to OST and sports opportunities. Grant-funded OST partnerships seeking to improve student well-being, emotional safety, and connection need ways to measure their value. A systems view indicates that OSTs play an interactive role within a school's complex system. Guided by the Improvement Science Framework, this Dissertation-in-Practice aimed to strengthen the SEL quality of 2-4-1 TOP Self Sports, a physical literacy-informed sports enrichment OST program serving primarily elementary school students. Using an action research methodology and a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design, the study used the Forum for Youth Investment's SEL PQA, a research-validated program evaluation tool measuring the quality of OST's SEL practices and opportunities. The researcher collaborated with the OST, 2- 4-1 CARE, to design and implement a job-embedded curriculum-based SEL intervention at two urban-based magnet schools. The researcher analyzed pre- and post-intervention scores and transcripts from semi-structured focus groups with 2-4-1 instructors to determine the extent of the intervention's impact. Post-intervention data indicate high-quality SEL in 2-4-1 TOP Self improvement in three of the four domains and two of the three focus areas. 2-4-1 instructors indicated the SEL intervention increased their intentionality to promote self-awareness and selfregulation skills. They observed student SEL growth during and beyond the sports enrichment time, suggesting the potential for 2-4-1 TOP Self to improve school climate

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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.



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