Special Education Instructional Specialist , Prince George's County Public Schools
A Qualitative Descriptive Study of the Self-efficacy of High Emotional and Behavior Disorder Staff
Many high school students with emotional or behavior disorders (EBD) require instructional and social emotional support and are referred to specialized self-contained programs with specially trained staff who can implement specifically designed supports and services needed for the students with EBD to experience success and acquire new social as well as social emotional learning (SEL) skills.
It was recommended that future research explore how high school emotional and behavior disorder program staff working with high school students describe their self-efficacy and support systems in place in order to build social skills and social emotional learning skills within students with emotional and behavior disorders. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to determine how high school EBD program staff describe their self-efficacy and support systems in place to build social skills and social emotional learning skills within their students in a suburban school district on the east coast of the United States. The research questions of the study were answered using a qualitative descriptive research design that is defined as the examination of one’s individualized experiences in which the descriptions of the phenomena are investigated (Padilla-Diaz, 2015). This qualitative descriptive study gave meaning and described the lived experiences of high school EBD program staff in order to detail effectiveness of their professional skills and how they help build social skills and social emotional learning skills as well as their support systems in place to support the needs of their students. Two data sources were use: individual in-depth interviews and one focus group with demographic questionnaire for descriptive findings. The final results included six themes that emerged from the data aligned to the research questions. The predominant findings from this study were that the high school EBD program staff forge personal connections that evolve to relationships with their students with EBD. The positive relationships enabled the high school EBD program staff to build social skills and social emotional skills within their students. The importance of collaborating with job alike peers for support for the staff as well as professional learning geared towards their specific needs
The previous studies included in the review of literature, only referenced quantitative results from self-efficacy rating scales from educators who did not provide descriptions of what actually enhanced the skills of staff that work with high school students with EBD.