Need for and Interest in Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning: Planning Evidence-Based Professional Development

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MacFarlane, Maggie
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Classrooms across Nova Scotia encompass a wide range of complex student-learning, behavioral, and -mental health needs. Teachers should be equipped with an understanding of how social and emotional aspects of students’ experiences in the classroom influence learning, as well as how to implement practical strategies in their classroom that are evidence-based. Further, including school psychologists in this professional development would allow for interprofessional collaboration where both groups can learn from each other. The current research piloted a survey investigating Grades 7-9 teachers’ and school psychologists’ perceived interest in, need for, and relevance of various evidence-based workshop topics in social and emotional aspects of learning. Despite multiple recruitment attempts, only five participants completed the survey. The findings from the small sample indicate a possible learning need for both professional groups. The survey also addressed preferred modalities for professional development, previous learning opportunities, other possible topics of interest, and perceived value in learning together as a group. The variability in responses indicate the survey may be a useful tool when planning for future professional development in the province.
Student learning, student experience, school psychology