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Mary Beth Reardon Defends Doctoral Dissertation at CSE

Mary Beth Reardon Defends Doctoral Dissertation at CSE

Morristown, N.J. (November 16, 2017) – Mary Beth Reardon of Millington, NJ, has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at the College of Saint Elizabeth to earn an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

"The Ed.D. program at the College of Saint Elizabeth was perfect for me," says Reardon. "Balancing the demands of doctoral work and my full-time position in the public schools was challenging, but ultimately manageable because of how the Ed. D. program is structured."

The title of her dissertation is, "Examining High School Teachers' Knowledge of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Its Application in the Classroom." She conducted her research at Lakeside High School and hoped to assess teachers' understanding of SEL, how effectively they're incorporating these practices and what needs to be done to integrate SEL into their instruction.

She discovered that while teachers at Lakeside High School may not have a foundation in social-emotional learning vocabulary they could, when presented with discussion topics, identify areas of strength and areas of need. She found that teachers believed developing their own SEL skills will improve relationships with students and understand it's a "trial and error" process. Finally, she revealed that teachers believe they would benefit from professional development in regards to SEL skills and collegial conversation will both promote SEL and contribute to "teacher buy-in."

Prior to studying at CSE, Reardon received a bachelor's in special education at Millersville University, a master's in education (human leadership service) and supervisor's certification at CSE.

The doctoral program at CSE, which is dedicated to preparing leaders who are committed to social justice and ethical practice, began in August 2007. Integrated into all course work and learning activities are the central values and beliefs necessary for school leaders to function as morally purposeful stewards for their school communities. This philosophy of servant leadership represents a major shift from the traditional paradigm of school leaders as managers of resources, which is so prevalent in today's practices.

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