Winter 4-15-2024

ESRP 9000 Professor

Dr. Lucas DeWitt

ESRP 9001 Professor

Dr. Lucas DeWitt

Executive Summary

A Strategic Plan to Enhance Educators’ Social-Emotional Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Through Professional Development Combined with Mentoring in Early Childhood Education Settings. Marcia Lightsey-Tivoli, 2024: Strategic Research Project, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: developmentally appropriate practice, early childhood education, mentor, pedagogy, professional development, social and emotional learning.

According to data released by the National Center for Education Statistics, social-emotional skills have declined since the re-entry of students and teachers into public schools after COVID-19. This strategic research project is designed to provide direction to increase social-emotional learning in an early childhood setting. The factor identified for investigation in this study pertains to the need for staff to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to support children effectively in developing their social-emotional skills. The literature reviewed comprises qualitative studies based on various data collection methods. Studies reviewed in the literature agree on the importance of developing social-emotional skills at an early age. These studies note that educators lack social-emotional knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively embed social-emotional learning into their curriculum.

The solution proposed is to improve teachers' social and emotional learning knowledge, skills, and abilities. An in-depth analysis of the pros, cons, and barriers to the potential and selected solutions is discussed. The study then examines strategies to mitigate the challenge. The approach to integrate professional development with peer mentoring was discerned using a quantitative strategic plan matrix. An action plan detailing the steps to take, the parties involved, the necessary resources, and the desired outcomes are presented. This strategic action plan is extensive and requires considerable time; however, it is highly beneficial as it provides a systematic approach to implementing strategic actions, thereby increasing the likelihood of achieving success. It is recommended that the organization implement a professional development program with peer mentorship to improve teachers' social-emotional knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively embed social-emotional learning into their curriculum.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Instructional Technology and Distance Education (ITDE)