Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Sernak, Kathy


Millville Senior High School (Millville, N.J.); Academic achievement; Emotions in adolescence; Social skills--Study and teaching (Secondary)


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum on students' academic achievement, classroom behavior and SEL skills. An SEL curriculum was administered to 105 randomly selected college preparatory United States History 10th grade students. Students received a pretest and a posttest measuring their perception of SEL skills. This was administered before the 10 lesson unit was facilitated and after the action research was completed. The curriculum combined SEL and American Government. Various forms of assessment were used to measure academic achievement.

Survey results were analyzed and comparison percentages tabulated to demonstrate students' changes in perception from the pre to the post survey. Numerical grades were recorded using both objective and subjective grading criteria. Students' misconduct was recorded throughout the study and journal notations made documenting student behaviors.

The results of the study suggest that after the SEL curriculum, students perceived that discipline was handled with greater fairness, trusted others to respect their property in class, perceived greater respect from their teacher, and felt that their classroom time was spent more purposefully. Students' perceived and actual grade point averages were in the 80 to 90 percent range. The classroom environment became cooperative with very few misconduct reprimands noted.