Changes in Teachers and Students’ Perceived School Climate Through the Implementation of the Social Emotional Learning Program: A Longitudinal Study [PDF]

Sabine Berzina, Baiba Martinsone
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: The aim of the study is to investigate changes in teachers’ perceived school climate in the first and second years of implementing the social emotional learning (SEL) program in schools, as well as to investigate differences in 3rd- to 6th-grade students’ perceived school climate. In the two years of this study, 64 teachers participated in the SEL program alongside a control group. In the first year, teachers received training on the implementation of school-level SEL and received ready-made lesson plans for the direct practice of social and emotional skills in the classroom. In the second year, the SEL teachers were divided into two subgroups, where 32 teachers received additional supervision during the implementation. In the first year, 138 students from 3rd to 6th grade participated in the SEL program alongside a control group. In the second year of SEL implementation, 223 3rd to 6th grade students participated in the program where teachers received regular supervision, and 244 students continued the SEL implementation process without changes. Georgia School Climate Survey Suite personnel, elementary and middle/high school forms were used to measure teachers’ and students’ perceived school climate. The results show that in both the first and second years, overall perceived school climate results were higher for both SEL teacher groups compared to the control teacher group. After the first year, students in grades 5 to 6 showed better mental health results. In the second year, only those 5th to 6th grade students whose teachers received regular supervision showed better mental health results. Starting from the second SEL year, both SEL 3rd- to 4th-grade student groups showed higher perceived school climate compared to the control group. The results did not change during the second year, which indicates that the Latvian SEL primarily improves mental health results for 5th- to 6th-grade students and overall perceived school climate for 3rd to 4th-grade students starting from the second SEL year. Ongoing support for teachers also stimulates better outcomes in mental health.
Keywords: gender, school climate, social emotional learning, students, teachers.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3