Date of Award

Summer 5-4-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Joseph Stetar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Maurice Elias, Ph.D.

Keywords

Social Emotional Character Development, Bullying, Intervention, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act 2011, Mentoring, District Coordinators and School Specialists, Social and Emotional Learning

Abstract

In response to New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act of 2011, districts and schools have been held responsible for strengthening the standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating, and responding to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying; consequently, the State has offered little guidance on how to be proactive in preventing instances of bullying in a way the law would support. In response to this legislative mandate, I have created a self-designed intervention, based upon the Five Core Competencies of Social and Emotional Learning, intended to negate at-risk social behaviors including bullying in a subpopulation of fifth through eighth grade students. This intervention focuses on meeting individual students’ social and emotional needs by providing a mentor who interacts with each student using a Socratic approach blended with the principles of Carl Rogers’ Client-Centered Therapy. Prior to implementation of the intervention with actual students, I believed it to be within my due diligence to ensure that I was prepared to address the complexities of students’ social and emotional needs with the very best tool possible. In order for me to ensure the appropriateness or potential benefit of this proposed intervention, I decided it would be advantageous to bring the intervention to my colleagues for their review, perceptions, recommendations, and attitudes towards the intervention. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent Burlington County District Coordinators and School Specialists, as defined by the 2011 New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Right Act, would deem a prescribed intervention, founded within the framework of social and PERCEPTIONS OF A PRESCRIBED INTERVENTION iii emotional learning (SEL), advantageous in their everyday duties to negate at-risk social behaviors, including bullying, in students from fifth to eighth grade The research design used a cross sectional qualitative design, as it was completed within one year and from each focus group within one point of time. The study included twenty total participants from schools and districts in Burlington County. Of these participants, fifteen were identified as Anti-Bullying Specialists and five were identified as Anti-Bullying Coordinators. As school districts in New Jersey, as governed by the ABRA 2011, continue to struggle to find ways to negate at-risk social behaviors such as bullying, it is the recommendation that this intervention, along with its recommendations, be given great consideration in meeting children’s social and emotional needs in the days ahead.

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