Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Anisa Goforth, Ph.D.

Commitee Members

Lindsey Nichols, Ph.D., James Caringi, Ph.D.


social-emotional learning, spirituality, student well-being, public school teachers


University of Montana

Subject Categories

School Psychology


Spirituality is not often discussed in the field of school psychology or the public school setting. However, it is understood to be a factor supporting resilience and well-being among children. Aspects of spirituality align with the core components of social-emotional learning (SEL), which relate to awareness of self and others, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The aims of the current study were to explore public school teachers’ perspectives of spirituality and SEL in the classroom, of the relationship between these topics, and of supporting spiritual and SEL development in order to promote student well-being. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve public school educators, and the data was analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Trustworthiness and credibility were established through triangulation, member checking, and reflexivity. Results included themes and subthemes organized into three broad categories reflecting participants’ perspectives of the influence of the chronosystem or current sociocultural context, the role of teachers and the public school setting in supporting student well-being, and what SEL and spirituality actually look like in the classroom. The discussion of results also includes implications for school psychologists, limitations, and future directions.



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