SEL Curriculums and Contingent EQ Baseline Scores

The following sample Education research paper is 2969 words long, in APA format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 151 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

Instructional Setting

Social studies teachers and their students from all three high schools will be selected from a school system to participate in the study. All work for the research will be performed within a high school classroom setting.

Quantitative Research Scenario

This research proposal will explore if instilling a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum helps behavioral problems in high school students. A baseline measurement of emotional IQ (EQ) will be administered to high school students for social and emotional skills prior to incorporate the SEL program. After the curriculum has been taught for three months, another measurement will be taken to assess if the curriculum has a short-term effect on students and their social and emotional skills. Another measurement will be taken at six months and one year to assess if the SEL curriculum has longer-term positive effects in EQ in high school students. 

Research Questions and Hypothesis

Does incorporation of an SEL curriculum (independent variable) into classroom learning improve EQ (the baseline score before the implementation being the dependent variable)?

From the research question, the following hypotheses are formulated:

H0: SEL curriculum does not improve EQ in high school students. 

H1: SEL curriculum does not improve EQ in high school students.

The first is the null hypothesis, where no effect would be detected, and the latter is the alternative hypothesis, where an effect in EQ was detected.

Role of the Researcher

The researcher will facilitate the study, garner permission to conduct the study, and gather and analyze the data. 

Target Audience/Role of Participants

The results of this study are important to the school and the community. School administrators will need to know the successes and failures in the implementation and execution of the SEL program and whether or not it is worthwhile to instill in high schools, or if high school student’s behaviors are too ingrained to produce a significant difference. Therefore, the target audience for this study is the administrators, teachers, and community in which the school system resides. 

Participant Groups

Before the program is established school-wide, social studies teachers from all three high schools will implement the SEL program for their eleventh-grade social studies classes to measure the effectiveness of the program on the behavior of the students. The high schools selected for the study have the ethnic distribution of three-quarters Caucasian and one-fifth Latino, with a small percentage other ethnicities.

Variations in the sample selected, all high school history juniors can occur. All students in the study may not be the same age. Some students may be older and younger than the average age of high school juniors, 16 through 17 years of age. While the SEL curriculum will be administered to the entire class, students of differing ages, older or younger, will be isolated from the data collected for this study to prevent the occurrence of outliers, which can skew the results of the study (Howell, 2011).  

Method

A quantitative study contains a research design wherein a test or measure is administered producing data that can be measured to discover if an effect really exists from the experimental situation or if there is no effect produced from the experimental conditions, according to Creswell (2014). In this study, sets of data, gathered at three months, half-year, and year intervals will be compared with the baseline assessment to see if an effect exists between the data sets. The researcher will provide all the history teachers in all of the schools the EQ assessment. The teachers will administer the tests within that week, then return the test answer sheets to the researcher upon completion. Students will be given the added incentive of extra credit for their participation, upon approval of all of the teachers. Absent students will have the opportunity to participate, but no later than Tuesday of the following week. After that, they will be excluded from the study because of the lack of their baseline scores. 

Instruments

The EQ-i:YV (S)™ (Bar-On, 2006) is an assessment that measures emotional intelligence in children and teenagers. It was created with the intention it was to be administered within a school setting. It delineates skill set strengths and areas where improvements are needed. 

Data Collection

The EQ-i:YV (S)™ (Bar-On, 2006) will produce continuous data, which is scaled data on an interval scale. The EQ-i:YV (S)™ produces a raw score. The raw scores are calculated into standardized scores.

Data Analysis

The data analysis performed will be a series of dependent t-tests. The baseline EQ scores will be analyzed against the experimental scores from three months, six months, and one year. This type of analysis is called a dependent t-test. Howell (2011) stated a dependent t-test analysis is appropriate for situations in which the researcher starts with a sample group, takes a baseline measurement with an instrument with proven validity, administers the experimental situation, then measures the outcome from the experimental factors from the same sample. 

Benefits

Howell (2011) stated that quantitative analysis provides a definitive, scientific answer to research questions. The data will be analyzed, a dependent t-test will be performed, and the results of the t-test will be measured for power, which will help determine if the effect of incorporating an SEL curriculum has produced any positive effects on high school students. The practical significance is that even in high school, SEL training could have an impact on students and their emotional and social intelligence. 

In the field of teaching, quantitative data is needed to produce evidence-based research that will help guide policies, implement teaching methods, and inclusion of curriculums. The benefits of conducting a qualitative study with a dependent samples t-test for this study is it will generate a discernable, scientific data that will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of administering an SEL curriculum to high school juniors. 

Instructional Setting

Social studies teachers and their students from all three high schools will be selected from a school system to participate in the study. All work for the research will be performed within a high school classroom setting.

Qualitative Research Scenario

The teachers of the social studies classes from the three schools will be assessed to discover if there are, according to the teachers’ perception, differences in the behavior of students before the implementation of an SEL curriculum and after implementation. 

Research Questions and Hypothesis

The guiding hypothesis of this study is that teachers of high school students will notice a difference in students’ behaviors when an SEL curriculum is implemented in classroom learning, the dependent variable being disruptive behaviors of students before the SEL program is implemented, and the independent variable being the implementation of the SEL program. From the guiding hypothesis, one can generate a research question. Does incorporation of an SEL curriculum into classroom learning improve problematic classroom behavior?

Role of the Researcher

The researcher’s role is to devise a set of questions that will help gauge a baseline environment of each teacher’s classroom before the implementation of the SEL. The same interview will be administered to the teachers at the same intervals as the quantitative part of this study – three, six, and twelve-month intervals. The researcher will administer the interviews, collect, and analyze the data produced from the interviews.

Target Audience/Role of Participants

The results of this study are important to the school and the community. School administrators will need to know the successes and failures in the implementation and execution of the SEL program and whether or not it is worthwhile to instill in high schools, or if high school student’s behaviors are too ingrained to produce a significant difference. Therefore, the target audience for this study is the administrators, teachers, and community in which the school system resides. Also, need to identify the role of the participants in the study and how they will be contributing information to the study.

Participant Groups

For this section of the research, the high school social studies teachers from the three high schools within the school system were selected to incorporate the SEL learning package into their classrooms and provide feedback about their perception of the success or failure of the program. This sample is not as consistent as with high school juniors, who are all around the same age. The teachers may differ in age drastically, have various years of teaching experience, different training, skill development, and knowledge, and come from differing socioeconomic backgrounds, which could influence the data collected for this portion of the study.

Method

The focus of this research is on whether or not teachers notice a difference in students’ classroom behaviors – in other words, a decrease, an increase, or no noticeable differences in the disruptive behaviors of their students. Interview questions will be created, if possible, from other interview questions used in studies to gather intelligence on teacher’s perception of the frequency and severity of disruptive behavior of the high school students in their classrooms and whether or not there is a perceived difference.

Instruments

Teachers will fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaire will contain a list of disruptive classroom behaviors, such as threat of physical harm, spoken threats, cursing, disrupting the flow of classroom conversation, foul language, cell phone use, abruptly exiting or entering the classroom without permission, any behaviors that can be classified as bullying (a definition will be provided), and speaking with other students while instruction is occurring or speaking out of turn. The questionnaire will ask for teachers’ opinions on which disruptive behaviors have been improved, as well as any behaviors not listed, as well as an open-ended questions to garner teachers’ feedback on any students where they noticed a drastic difference before and after the implementation of the SEL program, and any other observations made that have to do with the successes and failures of the SEL curriculum.  A video camera will also be utilized for face-to-face interviews for more open-ended feedback.

Triangulation

Triangulation techniques increase the validity of qualitative studies (Marshall and Rossman, 1999). The teachers’ written responses and their videotaped interviews will be coded into themes. Also, the researcher will watch video recordings for body language cues. 

Data Analysis

Each of these three sources will be compared and contrasted to discover if teachers experience fewer classroom disruptions as a result of incorporating SEL learning into their curriculum. This will be achieved through triangulation of the three sources of information. Common themes and trends will be listed, coded, and categorized.

Benefits

Qualitative research is important because it provides the explanation behind the numbers, and can reveal why differences occur. For instance, in this study, if the EQ numbers show a significant difference in student behavior, but teachers are not conveying a perceived difference of behavior, a qualitative study could possibly explain why the disparity exists. Qualitative research’s usefulness lies within the descriptive data it generates. It sparks future areas of inquiry for subsequent and follow up studies. It enriches the understanding of a phenomenon of interest.  

While the quantitative part of this study is useful for measuring if a difference in behaviors exists after the implementation of an SEL program, the qualitative portion of this research will describe if teachers perceive the benefits and drawbacks of implementing SEL curriculum in their classroom learning. It will reveal reasons for successes and failures, and serve to guide teachers and administrators to fine-tune their system to ensure the school-wide success of SEL curriculum implementation. All work for the research will be performed within a high school classroom setting.

Research Scenario

The three high schools from a school system will be participating in this research project to determine the successful and not so successful outcomes of the implementation of an SEL learning curriculum within the social studies classrooms of the three high schools. 

Research Questions 

What are the difficulties encountered by social studies teachers when incorporating an SEL program within their standard classroom learning?

What are some of the successes encountered by social studies teachers when incorporating an SEL program within their standard classroom learning?

What modifications can be made to improve the implementation of an SEL curriculum in a high school setting?

Role of the Researcher

The researcher will solicit the school administrators and social studies teachers to join in team research and collaborate the efforts of the three schools together to discover the answer to whether or not an SEL program would benefit the school district overall (Sage Learning, n. d.). The researcher will be the coordinator of information, gather all necessary permissions to conduct the study, conduct the interviews, and analyze the results. 

Audience/Participants

The results of this study are important to the school and the community. School administrators will need to know the successes and failures in the implementation and execution of the SEL program and whether or not it is worthwhile to instill in high schools, or if high school student’s learning behaviors are too ingrained to produce a significant difference. Therefore, the target audience for this study is the administrators, teachers, and community in which the school system resides. The participants are the social studies students and teachers within the school system, as well as the school administrators as they serve to support the efforts of the teachers as they incorporate SEL learning into their classroom curriculum. 

Participant Groups

The participants for this research are the administrators in their responsibility as supporters and leaders and social studies teachers within the three high schools responsible for the implementation of the SEL program.

The same variations in the sample for this action research study exist for the participants as for the qualitative portion of this research. The teachers may differ in age drastically, have various years of teaching experience, different training, skill development, and knowledge, and come from differing socioeconomic backgrounds, which could influence the data collected for this portion of the study.

Method

Teachers and administrators will collaborate to determine the victories and drawbacks of the incorporation of the SEL curriculum within their social studies classes to determine if their efforts were successful in creating positive learning environment outcomes, or if their efforts were fruitless in creating calmer classroom learning environments. Each team member will assess the information from the quantitative and qualitative studies to discuss their perceived outcomes of the trial run of SEL learning in high school students. Each team member will fill out interview questions that are aimed to discover the successes and failures of the SEL program implementation. Each team member will also be interviewed and video recorded individually, and a panel discussion will be recorded as well.

Instruments

Interview questions will be created, if possible, from other interview questions used in studies to gather intelligence on teacher’s perception of the frequency and severity of disruptive behavior of the high school students in their classrooms and whether or not there is a perceived difference. A video camera will also be utilized for face-to-face interviews for more open-ended feedback.

Triangulation

Triangulation techniques increase the validity of qualitative studies (Marshall and Rossman, 1999). The teachers’ written responses and their videotaped interviews will be coded into themes. Also, the researcher will watch the video recordings for body language cues. 

Data Analysis

Each of these three sources will be compared and contrasted to discover if the SEL curriculum was a success for the three participating high schools. This will be achieved through the triangulation of the three sources of information. Common themes and trends will be listed, coded, and categorized.

The feedback gathered will be assessed for common themes of the successes and failures of program implementation, ease of implementation, and obstacles to implementation. These feedback, along with the hardcore data from the quantitative study and the qualitative feedback from the teachers on students’ behaviors before and after implementation will be assessed and reviewed collectively to make a decision to go forward with SEL curriculum in the entire high school, make modifications to the curriculum to tailor-fit it to the defining characteristics of the school setting, student population, and administrative setting, and to define administrative guidelines to enhance ease of incorporation and utilization. 

Benefits

Action research is an important methodology for the field of teaching. In order to implement systemic changes to pave the way for more effective teaching methods and techniques, the school must come together as a community and decide through consensus what the best plan of action is for the school, its teachers, its administrators, and its students. 

Teacher attitude is an important factor in learning in general. In addition, administrative support for teachers’ efforts makes a big difference in perceived successes and failures of their efforts. Teachers and administrators will be able to collaborate to decide if their efforts were worthwhile, and if their efforts were worthwhile, to identify areas of improvement before implementing a school-wide program, which is the focus of action research (Sage Publications, n. d.).

Conclusions

Three research methods can be employed to test if implementing an SEL program would be beneficial for three high schools within a school district. The analyses used were quantitative and qualitative in nature to produce findings that will help guide school administrators in policy and action. The action research component of this research will help collaborate the efforts of the teachers and administrators to help them administer a system-wide change within their school system.

References

Bar-On, R. (2006). The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI). Retrieved from Consortium For Research on Emotional Intelligence: http://www.eiconsortium.org/reprints/bar-on_model_of_emotional-social_intelligence.htm

Sage Publications. (n. d.). Conducting Teacher Action Research. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/27031_11.pdf

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage Publications.

Howell, D. C. (2011). Fundamental statistics for the behavioral sciences. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. B. (1999). Designing qualitative research (3rded.). Washington, DC: Sage Publications.