Social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies such as self-management and relationship skills are associated with positive outcomes for youth. Therefore, educational policies in many countries emphasize the integration of these competencies throughout the curriculum and specifically in physical education (PE). However, little research has examined the impact of such policy in the context of practice. Drawing upon occupational socialization theory, this study assessed how secondary teachers interpret and implement this aspect of the Scottish national curriculum. Data sources included teacher interviews (n = 14), pupil focus groups (n = 32), and systematic observations of 23 lessons. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data were analyzed using constant comparison and thematic analysis. The trustworthiness of findings was supported through triangulation, peer debriefing, and member check. Findings indicate the curriculum is interpreted at several levels driven largely by teachers’ background experience and organizational influences. Generally, SEL is viewed favorably, but ambiguity and lack of support are challenges to implementation. Common practice involves creating a positive learning environment as well as implicit and reactive teaching approaches. More robust implementation involves the addition of explicit and empowering teaching approaches. Implications for practice, teacher education, policy development, and research are discussed.
- occupational socialisation theory
- educational policy
- curriculum change
- health and wellbeing curriculum
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- Moray House School of Education and Sport - Senior Lecturer
- Academy of Sport
- Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences
Person: Academic: Research Active