Exploratory Study of Ecuadorian Teachers’ Understanding of Social Emotional Learning: An Examination of Primary School Teachers





Social Emotional Learning, SEL workshop, emotional development, professional development (DP), teachers' SEL perspectives


Direct instruction of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has been suggested for improving academic performance and reducing behavioral issues in classrooms (CASEL, 2020). This exploratory study provides insight into how a group of Ecuadorian elementary school teachers define and understand SEL. It examined changes in teachers’ perspectives and beliefs about their role in SEL integration in elementary school classrooms, after a full-day workshop focused on SEL integration. Quantitative and qualitative data collected before, during and after the SEL workshop indicated a positive change in the teachers’ foundational knowledge of SEL after participation in the workshop; however, there was no observed change in the teachers’ perceptions of their role in the actual implementation of SEL. Challenges and future implications for an effective integration of SEL are discussed in this research article.


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Author Biographies

Ximena Burgin, Northen Illinois University, USA

is an Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests relate to culturally responsive classroom by implementing research-based methodologies to improve students’ academic outcomes. She has developed and evaluated a variety of state and federal programs in K-12 education and adult education, leading her to understand the impact of diverse interventions on academic achievement through the employment of different methodological techniques. She has also taught graduate research classes and she has mentored doctoral students throughout the dissertation process to completion

Sheila Coli, Northern Illinois University, USA

is an experienced English as a Foreign language (EFL) secondary school teacher from Uruguay and a current EdD candidate in the Curriculum and Instruction program at Northern Illinois University. Her research focuses on social emotional learning and teacher development related to teacher’s knowledge to implement SEL in the classroom.

Mayra C Daniel, Northern Illinois University, USA

is a Professor at Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL, USA. A native of Cuba who emigrated to the United States at age 10, she personally experienced the merit of teachers who support the academic and SEL development of linguistically diverse students. Her work and research are based on the belief that social justice is alive and well in the hearts of all caring


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How to Cite

Burgin, X., Coli, S., & Daniel, M. C. (2021). Exploratory Study of Ecuadorian Teachers’ Understanding of Social Emotional Learning: An Examination of Primary School Teachers. GIST – Education and Learning Research Journal, (22), 125–146. https://doi.org/10.26817/16925777.964