COLLABORATIVE ACTION RESEARCH TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING IN A RURAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: HELPING STUDENTS BECOME “LITTLE KIDS WITH BIG WORDS”

Donna M. San Antonio

Abstract


Research has shown that social and emotional learning (SEL) can benefit students in affective, interpersonal, communicative, and academic realms. However, teachers integrating SEL face a variety of logistical, pedagogical, and skill development challenges, including how to effectively facilitate classroom conversations on social justice and personal loss. This article draws from classroom observations, teacher conversations, interactive journals, and field notes to describe a seven-month-long university-school partnership to carry out an action research project in a high-poverty rural elementary school in the US. Teachers grappled with how to address race, immigration, and gender discrimination in a predominantly White community. Classroom vignettes, and teacher and author reflections, illustrate the iterative, developmental, and reciprocal aspects of learning between teachers and students, and between the university-based facilitator and teachers.

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ISSN 1925-7147

© CAARE 2014