Implementation Factors of the Social Emotional Learning Language Arts (SELLA) Curriculum: Impact on Teachers’ Social-Emotional Competence

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Elana Bernstein


In recent years, evidence supporting a whole-child approach to education-one that considers not only academic proficiency but also development of social-emotional competence (SEC) as important outcomes of education for students-has mounted. As the benefits of supporting student SEL skills have become more widely known, recognition of the value of supporting teachers' SEC has surfaced, too. Research indicates a range of positive classroom implications for teachers' having high SEC, including more effective management of student behaviors and higher quality implementation of evidence-based practices. Existing research demonstrates that schools can support teachers' SEC directly through SEL-focused professional development opportunities, but it is unclear if teachers' delivery of student-centered SEL programming indirectly results in similar improvements in SEC. Using a program evaluation with a comparison group design, the present study examined the impact of classroom delivery of the Social Emotional Learning Language Arts curriculum on teachers' SEC and whether factors such as implementation quality and perceptions of the curriculum predicted SEC levels. Results of a survey of (n = 64) K-6 teachers revealed no significant relationship between SELLA implementation and self-reported SEC level, and neither perceptions of the curriculum nor implementation quality significantly predicted teacher SEC. Nonetheless, the findings of this study contribute to an emerging research base exploring practical, effective, and efficient ways that schools can support teacher SEC. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Education, Psychology, social-emotional learning, SEL, social-emotional competence, SEC, teacher SEL, adult SEL, integrated SEL

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