Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Sarah Gordon

Second Committee Member

Dr. Ellen Treadway

Third Committee Member

Dr. Sheena Williamson

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


Social-emotional learning programs and character education models are currently being adopted across the United States as schools understand the importance of supporting the social-emotional development of children and its impact on their overall achievement. This qualitative study centered upon the experiences of elementary teachers who implemented Capturing Kids’ Hearts in their classrooms for the last two to three years. The teachers who volunteered to participate in this research study were from two Arkansas school districts. The interviews were conducted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and participants answered nineteen questions and brought an artifact to discuss during the online interview. The teachers’ responses were collected, analyzed, and then sorted into emerging themes. These findings resulted in implications for practice and future research regarding implementation of a SEL program or character education model for teachers and students in Arkansas public schools. The results of this research study implied that the daily time committed to implementing CKH is dependent on the teacher; a shared limitation identified by teachers is a need for additional support and consequences for individual student misbehavior that is repeated; teacher job-related stress was decreased due to improved student relationships with their peers and teacher; CKH EXCEL training is an essential factor to successful implementation; CKH components and strategies improved teachers’ classroom management skills; and teachers saw positive student behavior between peers after implementation of CKH.