School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Patricia Ferrin


Social Emotional Learning SEL Programs social learning positive behavior change behavioral changes


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to reveal the empowering attributes that promote successful living academically, behaviorally, and socially at home, in school, and in the community as described through the lived experiences of individuals who have completed a social-emotional learning program. The central research question, “What experiences in social-emotional learning impact the behaviors of individuals who have completed SEL programs?”, is developed to gather the lived experiences that describe how SEL influences the conduct of various people. This study is guided by Bandura’s social learning theory, which focuses on the significance of observing, emulating, and modeling attitudes and actions of others to impact human behavior. This concept relates to social-emotional learning through the SEL programs’ emphasis on promoting diversity, increasing skill in managing emotions, goal setting, and making responsible decisions. Various perceptions of the participants’ experiences will be collected in interviews, focus groups, and a document analysis. These descriptions will be assembled through a thematic analysis to determine the patterns and similarities of the individuals’ views and attitudes regarding their participation in social-emotional learning programs.