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Building Level Administrators’ Self-Efficacy and Role in Implementing Social Emotional Learning Initiatives

Julie Alfano, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Across educational settings, leaders in the field are recognizing a need to support students’ social-emotional development in order to improve educational outcomes (CASEL, 2020; Collie et al., 2015). Social emotional learning (SEL) is one approach which educational communities can collectively employ to improve students’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies (CASEL, 2015; Durlak et al., 2011). SEL, the process through which adolescents can acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to regulate emotions and ultimately build resilience, can be addressed through different school-wide programs and initiatives (CASEL, 2015; Durlak, 2015). Resources, time, training and administrative support are often factors which influence the implementation of SEL programs (CASEL, 2015). Given the current research on SEL implementation and the importance of the role Building Level Administrators (BLAs) should have in this process, more research is needed to identify BLA’s level of self-efficacy as it pertains to the components of SEL implementation, and to understand their perceived role in implementation. The purpose of this mixed method, sequential explanatory study was to investigate how middle school BLAs in a northeast state rate their self-efficacy in implementing SEL initiatives. Moreover, the study explored how middle school BLAs describe their role in the implementation process. This study addressed the following research questions: 1. How do BLAs’ rate their self-efficacy in implementing SEL initiatives in their school? 2. What do BLAs identify as their role in the implementation process of SEL initiatives? 3. How do BLAs describe their role in the process of implementing SEL initiatives? During Phase I, a questionnaire was administered to middle school BLAs in a northeast state (N = 97) to investigate their rating of self-efficacy and identification of their role in the implementation of SEL initiatives. In Phase II, individual interviews (n = 8) were conducted to explore how BLAs describe their role in the implementation process. The results revealed middle school BLAs have low levels of overall self-efficacy in implementing SEL initiatives. The data also suggested that despite low levels of self-efficacy, BLAs hold an active role throughout the stages of SEL implementation, and work most closely with school-based mental health providers. Study results fill a gap in the literature involving BLAs’ self-efficacy and role in implementing SEL initiatives. Findings from this study may be used to develop and provide training specific to the needs of educational leaders.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Middle School education|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Alfano, Julie, "Building Level Administrators’ Self-Efficacy and Role in Implementing Social Emotional Learning Initiatives" (2021). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI28494171.
https://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI28494171

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