Teachers' perceptions of social emotional learning

Year: 2012

Author: Ee, Jessie, Zhou, Ming Ming

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This study is part of a bigger research project that addresses the infusion of social emotional learning (SEL) in students' academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science and Character Education.  Seventy-six teachers were involved in the infusion of SEL in six schools. After the Posttest 1, besides administering a teacher questionnaire, 14 out of 76 teachers were interviewed individually to assess their perceptions of SEL, their views on their SEL infusion in class and their perceptions of the factors for enhancing or hindering SEL implementation. The interview questions were divided into three categories: the importance of social and emotional competencies (SECs) for students; infusion of SEL into the school curricula and their own attempts at imparting SECs to their students during their lessons. The study revealed teachers perceived that low SEC students lack self-management and relationship management skills, yet their perceptions did not translate into practice. Instead of enhancing self-management and relationship management to develop high SECs in students, they were enhancing more of the students' self-awareness and social awareness. Implications for the classroom will be discussed.