Teachers’ Perceptions of the Impact of Social and Emotional Support Services on Academic Performance

Date

2019-12

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

Background: In 1966, a report was commissioned to determine the academic status of students across the United States (Dickenson, Winter 2016). The Coleman report determined that students of various ethnic and socio-economic groups had varied levels of academic proficiencies (Coleman, 1966). Ethnicity and Socio-economic status do not correlate to inherent decreased intellectual aptitude, which implies that additional constructs could contribute to lower academic performance. This research was designed to study the perceptions of teachers on the impact of improving academic performance through social and emotional learning support strategies. Purpose: This study was designed to examine teachers’ perceptions of the impact of social and emotional learning support services on academic performance. Research Question: What is the perception of teachers of the impact of increased social and emotional learning support services in the form of peer group counseling and access to counseling services and its impact on student academic performance? Methodology: The focus of this qualitative case study assessed the perceptions of teachers by interviewing four teachers who were chosen because they were 8th-grade core content teachers who taught students that had received social and emotional learning support services throughout middle school. Each teacher was given semi-structured preset open-ended questions during their interviews. Follow up conversations occurred as a member check to clarify teacher perceptions, and the study was culminated with a panel interview that was recorded and transcribed. Data from the interviews were interpreted and coded to capture elements the participants described as the basis of their perceptions (Huddersfield, 2006; King, 1998). With each interview, the recoding of previously coded categories occurred to ensure accurate perceptions from each participant (Altheide et al., 2008; Huddersfield, 2007; King, 1998). Following the summative group interview, the researcher looked for patterns, themes, plausibility, and clustering (Miles & Huberman, 1994), as well as potential relationships or common themes that existed between the teachers that were interviewed. Findings: The key findings that emerged from the thematic analysis of the interviews and focus group responses were: (1) the teachers did not feel that they received thorough training on how to properly implement social and emotional strategies; (2) the teachers agreed that supporting the social and emotional development of students was important and should be consistently implemented schoolwide to achieve the maximum benefits; (3) the teachers perceived that having good relationships with their students had a positive impact on academic performance although to what degree varied; (4) the teachers did not have a strong perception that access to counseling services contributed to increasing academic achievement for students; and (5) only half of the teachers involved attributed a direct connection of student success with the SEL strategies. Conclusion: The teachers' perceptions varied regarding their support as to whether, social and emotional learning techniques increased academic growth. The perception of teachers in this study implied that for schools to have successful academic programs and meet the academic needs of students, they must also meet the social needs of students. Social and emotional learning promotes healthy student development and reduces problem behaviors among students, which results in improved classroom climate and overall academic improvement. With proper training and support, teachers can meet the social and emotional needs of students, which can contribute to increased academic achievement.

Description

Keywords

Academic achievement

Citation