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Current Research Projects

Social-Emotional Learning Exploratory Case STudy

     Emotional Intelligence is not something that is just developed as a skillset in adulthood. In fact, to be more productive, successful, and happy as an adult it is important to develop these skills over your lifetime. Within the school system, teaching Emotional Intelligence to children is called Socio-Emotional Learning, or Social-Emotional Learning, (SEL) and should be taught and practiced throughout their educational trek. It is my belief that teachers resist new educational initiatives or fail to implement with fidelity because of three reasons: (1) they do not understand it, (2) they do not know how to use it, or (3) they feel it is just one more thing on their plate. As the needs of our youth are changing and the rise of social-emotional dysfunction in our schools begins to drive teachers from the profession and students into home-schooling, I believe the need to implement Emotional Intelligence into our daily practice is more important than ever. Partly as a means to improve the educational experience for everyone, and partly to help develop our children into responsible, capable, self-evident adults who are ready to function within society and global communities. It is for this reason I have created an exploratory case study project to help teachers understand Emotional Intelligence, learn to develop their own skills, practice embedded skills into their lesson plans as SEL learning standards, and collect and analyze data for accountability and instructional design.


 The exploratory case study will cover an entire school year with free, embedded professional development and take about 30-45 minutes per week:

  • The first quarter of the school year will be a guided book study with interactive lessons to help the teacher understand the what of Emotional Intelligence. 


  • The second quarter of the school year will be guided coaching based on the positive self-assessment completed by the teacher to help them develop their own Emotional Intelligence skills.

  • The third quarter of the school year will be dedicated to training teachers to embed SEL Learning Standards into their lesson plans with their new understanding of what they are teaching and how to develop those skills since they have been through the process. 


  • The fourth quarter of the school year will be training on the collection and analysis of student achievement data for accountability (as with ESSA plans). intervention planning, and instructional design.

     I believe this study is significant for several reasons. First, there is ample research to support the need to develop Emotional Intelligence in adults. Strong Emotional Intelligence skills are linked to happier and healthier lives. Beginning this development earlier in life has a profound effect on coping mechanisms, relationship skills, academic performance, and overall happiness. There is just as much research to support the positive relationship between a teacher and student as being a key factor in academic achievement. By developing the Emotional Intelligence skills of both teachers and students the relationship factors are enhanced tremendously. Additionally, teachers can be better prepared to manage the needs and behaviors of the students providing them better job satisfaction and reducing the number of teachers leaving the profession. Including this type of comprehensive training in teacher preparation programs may be a necessary addition to support new teachers, also. If you, or your schools, are interested in participating in this study, please contact me for more information. Request information here:

Dr. Kimberly Davis

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