Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Educational Leadership

Capstone Instructor

Prof. Dorothy Bialke

Second Reader

Dr. Sara Kellogg


early childhood education, social-emotional, social-emotinal learning, preschool, social skills, free choice, parent education


The development of children’s cognitive and social-emotional learning is of significant importance in education, specifically in early childhood education. Early childhood administrators, educators, and support staff have noticed an increase in the amount of students displaying underdeveloped or lacking social-skills within preschool classrooms. This paper will analyze and summarize research to explain the relationship between social-emotional skills and temperament, classroom environment, and educational outcomes in preschool aged students. It was found through research that a lack of social-emotional understanding and skills was impactful to a child’s future emotional responses and academic achievement. In order for leaders to best prepare teachers to support student’s social-emotional needs, direct teaching of social emotional skills to students, educating parents and guardians, and providing effective curricula and free choice opportunities in the classroom were important factors to social and academic success.