Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Elizabeth Minor

Second Advisor

James Fitzpatrick

Third Advisor

Christine Nelson


Previous research has provided insight into the benefits of incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) into the classroom, such as in the area of academic performance. As Jones et al. (2018) explained, “Children who can effectively manage their thinking, attention, and behavior are also more likely to have better grades and higher standardized test scores” (p. 15). I designed this research to examine the implementation of an SEL program and evaluate its effectiveness. The school’s multi-tiered system of supports(MTSS) team worked to implement the SEL program in the classrooms and chose two classrooms in which to pilot the program. The evaluation involved collecting data from the two classrooms in which teachers used the SEL program and two classrooms in which teachers did not implement the program. The study was designed to examine whether or not the SEL program reduced behavioral issues and increased academic performance. Teacher perception data were analyzed to identify whether or not a student’s ability to identify and express emotion decreased heightened states of emotion. The teachers piloting the study observed that when the students were taught about their feelings, they could identify and describe them. Students enrolled in the classrooms in which the Feelings Check was displayed could regulate their emotions when they were in a zone of regulation that required the ability to control their emotions. Students who were able to identify their feelings were able to determine how their peers were feeling as well. Students who were able to regulate their emotions were able to be active learners in the learning environment. The results support the implementation of an SEL program that teaches students how to identify their emotions and use tools to regulate those emotions.