Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary Hallums


Current conditions in the United States have resulted in an increasing number of middle and high school students experiencing trauma. To improve positive learning environments and graduation rates, a Southern school district transitioned from punitive, exclusionary consequences to restorative practices such as socioemotional learning (SEL). A bounded qualitative case study was used to explore the perceptions of administrators and teachers regarding teachers’ facilitation of SEL, the most effective strategies to facilitate SEL, and teacher preparedness to facilitate SEL. The study was guided by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning framework. Data were collected from 5 teachers and 3 administrators through semistructured interviews. The data analysis process included sorting interview responses, member checking, peer debriefing, and identification of codes and common. Thematic findings indicated the need for ongoing professional learning; support and relevant resources; SEL, restorative practices, and trauma-informed curricula, behavioral plans, and service learning; support staff; and support from educational leaders. The project deliverable was a professional development training that provided SEL, restorative practices, and trauma-informed curricula. Results may be used by administrators and teachers to promote the components of SEL (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills) to cultivate more positive learning environments in schools.