Masters Theses/Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Special Education (MAE)

First Committee Member

Allison McGrath


Allison McGrath

Second Committee Member

Carrie Scheckelhoff

Third Committee Member

Diane Ross


Social-Emotional Learning, Special Education, Intervention, RULER, Executive Functioning, Behavior, Emotional Intelligence

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Educational Methods | Other Education | Special Education and Teaching


Addressing students’ social-emotional development as it relates to the academic environment has become increasingly important to teachers, administrators, parents, and to the research community. The purpose of this action research study is to determine if the RULER Approach to Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is beneficial to students with disabilities as an intensive Tier 3 Intervention as they work towards self-regulation of their emotions in order to increase participation in classroom activities. There were two second grade students with diagnosed disabilities selected to participate in this study. In addition to their defined disabilities, they have also shown to have SEL needs that include self-regulation when faced with a frustrating situation, listening and/or following directions, and using appropriate volume in the classroom. The qualitative data has been gathered through a provided rubric that was completed by the general education teachers over the span of 6 weeks to determine the effectiveness of the RULER strategies on the students abilities to accurately identify their current state of emotion as well as to self-regulate themselves to an emotional state suitable for classroom learning. The results of the study were conclusive that emotional intelligence growth was made by both students in the shortened, more intensive application of the RULER Approach; however, evidence showed that they could still benefit from more time to allow for repeated practice to build independence in the use of the anchor tools.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use



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