Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface

Second Advisor

Dr. Tamara J. Williams


This qualitative case study explores educators’ experiences in a suburban elementary school during the implementation stages of a new social-emotional learning curriculum. This research combines educators’ first-person accounts of the social-emotional learning curriculum implementation before and during the process as well as analyzes the results of their experiences as a whole. Altogether, this paper investigates the central phenomenon: What are the experiences of elementary educators in a suburban elementary school implementing social-emotional learning curriculum? Participants were invited individually to take part in the interview process. Data collected were analyzed through a series of codes and aggregated into themes. Participants reflected on professional development given before and during the implementation process. Data analysis illustrated that while participants believed in the value of the new social-emotional learning curriculum, they felt ill-prepared to teach it. Further research recommendations include establishing a system to elongate the implementation process during the school year by way of a peer-coaching component, monthly staff development led by peers, and staff members sharing curriculum success stories they have encountered in their classrooms.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2020 Danielle N. Elsasser.

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