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The social emotional learning cohort: professional learning for inspiring change.

Larson, Tracy (2022) The social emotional learning cohort: professional learning for inspiring change. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My problem of practice is the disproportionate use of exclusionary discipline practices by educators with Black children and children with disabilities, and the related pervasive problem of educator secondary traumatic stress and burn-out. What are the solutions for these educational dilemmas? The HealthyCHILD (HC) model. HC combines the most promising solutions from the research and the most efficacious activities of similar field-validated models into a comprehensive model that addresses the underlying root causes of these problems of practice– unaddressed trauma, and educator secondary traumatic stress, unaddressed mental health needs, and educator discrimination/bias. The HC model consists of 8 research-informed domains 1) policies and procedures, 2) staff development, 3) collaboration, 4) environments, 5) relationships, 6) assessment, 7) social-emotional learning, and 8) mental health and wellness, that guide the partnerships’ efforts and empower educators to understand and realize a shared vision of being a school where all children are fully included and thrive. For this study, one strategy within the “staff development” domain of the HC model – the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Cohort, will be targeted and analyzed. The SEL Cohort is a collaborative project co-constructed with a local early childhood program that has three broad purposes:
1. improving the skills and knowledge of educators in trauma sensitive practice, social emotional learning and mindfulness through collaborative and independent study, expertise exchange, professional dialogue, and inquiry-based learning,
2. improving the outcomes of children by spreading participants’ expertise and insight, and
3. sustaining continuous quality improvement and innovation efforts in the program.
Each school year, educators within the early childhood program can apply to participate in a SEL Cohort, which consists of four 2.5-hour collaborative learning sessions, up to four 30-60-minute individual learning sessions, and thirty hours of independent study. This study will use a mixed method approach to answer four questions:
1. Did the SEL Cohort occur as planned?
2. How did participants rate the quality of the SEL Cohort activities?
3. What was the impact on the participants?
4. What was the spread of expertise and insight?
Taken together, this information will help the co-facilitators better understand the participants’ experiences and inform future iterations of the SEL Cohort.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Larson, Tracytracy.larson@pitt.edutkl7
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRobertson,
Committee MemberBagnato,
Committee MemberFarmer,
Date: 10 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 November 2021
Approval Date: 10 January 2022
Submission Date: 22 December 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 79
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: educator professional development, continuous quality improvement, innovation, social emotional learning, mindfulness, trauma sensitive schools, adverse childhood experiences, secondary traumatic stress, exclusionary discipline, early education
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 18:18
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 18:18


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