Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Education




Riveros-Barrera, Augusto


Social-emotional learning (SEL), is an umbrella term that refers to students' "acquisition of skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, and handle challenging situations effectively" (“What is SEL”, 2018). It has gained popularity in North America over the past two decades as schools see the need to educate students both socially and emotionally to promote responsible citizenship and personal awareness. Despite increasing belief in the importance of SEL, its implementation is still widely inconsistent (Cohen), 2006). Thus, the purpose of this research was to examine SEL as it is implemented in one particular school district in the province of British Columbia, Canada. The Beaver School District, in the province of British Columbia (BC), provided the context for this study. To ensure confidentiality and anonymity of all participants and protect district identification, the school district will be called the Beaver School District from here on for the remainder of this study. This study specifically looked at how SEL has been implemented, the challenges, the practices, and the strategies used by schools to put this into practice, and why there is an inconsistency in how SEL is implemented throughout the district. . Vice-principals and principals were asked to share their feelings, impressions, and experiences on the implementation of SEL in the district. A qualitative exploratory single-case study approach was used along with a 2-level coding process to identify emerging themes and patterns. Some of the findings of this study include: specifically, how SEL is being implemented in the Beaver School District, the challenges experienced in implementation, the consistency in implementation throughout the district, and the role of principals and vice-principals in implementation. Note that all findings are drawn solely off the perception of school-based principals and vice-principals expressed through semi-structured interviews. The results of this study will be shared with teachers during a professional development session and with principals at one of their monthly district meetings. It is expected that this study will aid in improving the district’s strategies for SEL implementation as it continues on in the district.