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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social Emotional Learning beliefs of preservice teachers : measuring the impact of a teacher education program Gist, Alexander


The importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for success in school and the workplace is increasingly being recognized. Often, teachers are the ones tasked with implementing SEL programming and promoting it in the classroom. Yet, though future teachers will be expected to promote SEL, little attention is given to SEL in teacher education programs and there is a dearth of research on SEL in teacher education. The teacher education program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has a unique cohort of its elementary education program that focuses on SEL. This study examined changes in teacher self-efficacy, teaching beliefs and priorities, especially with regard to SEL, among students completing their teacher education program. Preservice teachers in the SEL cohort were compared with students in other cohorts. Students (n = 102) in four different cohorts of the teacher education program were surveyed at the beginning and the end of the academic year to measure change in self-efficacy over time and between cohorts. Overall, the self-efficacy of students in the teacher education program improved in all areas measured over the course of the program. On SEL-focused subscales, students in the SEL cohort reported the highest self-efficacy, though, in general, the SEL cohort students did not improve significantly more over the course of the year than students in other cohorts. In fact, on the subscale measuring self-efficacy for preventing behavioral problems before they occur, though students in the SEL cohort had the highest self-efficacy, other cohorts showed greater improvements over the course of the year. Results suggest that after taking part in UBC’s teacher education program, preservice teachers, regardless of their cohort, report higher self-efficacy in both academic and SEL-related areas regardless of the cohort.

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