Date of Award

Winter 1-8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Philip O. Pendley

Second Advisor

Heather Gomez

Third Advisor

Monica Peterson


Purpose: The purpose of this Delphi Study was to identify classroom strategies that expert K-8 teachers use to support and promote the development of student emotional intelligence, as defined by Bradberry and Greaves (2009), within K-8 classrooms, to rate the importance of the identified strategies, and to identify specific activities to implement the four most highly rated strategies identified in Round 2.

Methodology: This study utilized the Delphi method, which is an iterative process used to collect and distill the judgments of experts using a series of questionnaires interspersed with feedback. Twenty-one expert K-8 teachers identified strategies to develop student emotional intelligence within the classroom. This data provided the content for the second survey, where participants ranked the identified strategies in importance using a Likert scale, with 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest. Once the top four competencies were identified, participants recommended methods to implement and support these four competencies in the classroom.

Findings: This study identified the following classroom strategies as effective to support and develop levels of student emotional intelligence within public school K-8 classrooms in California: Building positive relationships with students, building trust with students, utilizing opportunities for positive character reinforcement, and differentiation and small group instruction. This study also provides recommendations to implement these strategies.

Conclusion: The results of this research point to three key conclusions. First, it is concluded that teacher preparation programs and school districts are not currently providing sufficient pre-teaching preparation and professional development training in emotional intelligence for teachers. It is concluded that there is a lack of a structured systemic emotional intelligence development process. Finally, it is concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic caused actions to be taken by school systems that exacerbated the lack of emotional intelligence skills in both students and staff.

Recommendations: It is recommended that school districts implement a specific social and emotional learning curriculum that is consistently applied across the district and at all grade levels. Additionally, further research is needed to support the positive effects of SEL and Emotional Intelligence training across age groups and contexts, particularly with regard to academic performance.