Teacher Perceptions and Interactions with Students with Social-Emotional Disabilities (SED) In the General Education Settings

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Elizabeth Essex


This qualitative case study explored teacher perceptions and interactions with students who have social-emotional disabilities (SED) in Happy Valley Middle School general education settings. Through semi-structured interviews and a focus group, data was collected from 14 participants, and findings revealed that authentic relationships helped teachers play a significant role in SED students social-emotional development. Time constraints with students and lack of skill-building opportunities were identified as challenges to building relationships with SED students, and the need for teachers to address their biases was highlighted. Recommendations for further research were provided, emphasizing the importance of understanding teacher implicit biases and deepening teacher-student relationships to specifically support students with SED. The study limitation was its small sample size.


Relationships, implicit bias, general education setting, SED

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