Graduation Date

5-2013

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Abstract

The intense focus of academics currently in practice in elementary schools limits the opportunities for developing social skills and abilities that are necessary 21st century skills. Through a specifically structured Morning Meeting a teacher can create a space in the classroom that encourages the growth of important social skills that will support the development needed in the future workplace. The purpose of this study is to gather information that explores the roll of social interaction activities such as a classroom morning meeting and its impact on social skills development. The literature reveals the following 21st century skills need to be taught to students to facilitate their success in the future: problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, collaboration, creativity and respect. The literature supports the idea that a form of community building meetings, hosted frequently in the classroom, help promote necessary learning and social skills, empowering students both in academic and social settings. This is a qualitative study using interview protocol. The participants included are currently employed as teachers in an elementary school and conducting morning meetings with their students. Hosting daily Morning Meetings in the classroom helps to build a safe and encouraging environment where community, trust, and respect flourish. Through this process, social and emotional intelligences develop and the students begin to practice and use 21st century skills in their academic work and social relationships. Student academic achievement is affected positively from the work accomplished in Morning Meeting and student behavior improves.

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