Hearts and Minds: Impact of Pre-Service Social Emotional Learning Training on School Children

Donna Josephs, Fordham University


This descriptive case study explored the impact on children of a 2-hour pre-service Social Emotional Learning (SEL) consultation module for teachers and school psychologists at Fairfield University. Also explored was the impact on children of Fairfield’s extensive school psychology SEL pre-service training (i.e., mindfulness, psycho-education, multi-tiered SEL, systemic consultation). Twelve Fairfield alumni were interviewed (teachers and school psychologists). Results showed that the 2-hour module created SEL teacher buy-in. Teachers voluntarily incorporated SEL into their job roles and academic lessons, and they designed unique SEL interventions. School psychologists actualized their extensive training in schools with multi-tiered SEL and to a lesser extent in schools without it. Those who worked in schools one-day-a-week found SEL integration difficult. Overall, as SEL pioneers, school psychologists became leaders in SEL integration and systemic consultation on both school and district levels. Both teachers and school psychologists impacted children on the six outcome measures discussed in the research literature (Durlak et al., 2011; Payton et al., 2008). A call to open universities’ gates to preventative pre-service SEL training is discussed, as are barriers, facilitators, and implications for pre-service, in-service, future research, and policy.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Teacher education|Higher education|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Josephs, Donna, "Hearts and Minds: Impact of Pre-Service Social Emotional Learning Training on School Children" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30633050.