Publication Date

Summer 6-26-2023


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has been primarily researched in elementary schools, and within this context, SEL curriculum is often presented as an isolated, preplanned curriculum, with a list of curricular objectives to be delivered. A phenomenological inquiry was conducted to better understand the ways in which SEL and SEL curriculum are understood and experienced in a high school context. Data gathered from close phenomenological observations and interviews with three high school teachers in mathematics and physical education afforded the opportunity to orient, interpret, and describe the phenomenon of SEL-in-action. Rich descriptions of SEL as it is lived were generated and analyzed in relation to van Manen’s reflections on pedagogy and curriculum. Findings reveal that SEL manifests in the pedagogical actions of teachers caring for students regardless of what subject is being taught, and often in moments where the curriculum-as-plan is disrupted. Experiential opportunities to understand SEL within the context of secondary teacher education are recommended for teacher education and ongoing professional development.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.