Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2021

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Tiffany Bockelmann


Emotional regulation, social-emotional learning, journaling, secondary education


The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine a time effective and subject area friendly way to address students’ social-emotional needs as a means to alleviate stress, communicate with teachers, and improve their overall wellbeing. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many unforeseen or unaddressed repercussions that educators will continue to be dealing with as schools return to traditional formats or as they adjust to new ones. What impact can the use of daily journal writing have for high school students as an immediate and potentially long-term social-emotional learning or competency technique?

This study was conducted using a qualitative method design for a period of four weeks. The qualitative data was collected through student journals and field notes, as well as surveys at the beginning and end of the study. The sophomore class was specifically chosen by the researcher. Since the study focused particularly on adolescence, sophomores best fit the peak range of adolescent age (15-17 years of age). This group of students also had the experiences of starting high school in the traditional classroom setting as seventh graders, the abrupt transition to school in the home and distance learning as eighth graders, experience with the hybrid method of classroom delivery as ninth graders, and back to traditional in-person learning five days a week as sophomores, all during adolescence.

Results determined that although initially met with hesitation, daily journaling became an enjoyable daily activity, allowing students to express themselves and relieve stress in a different way than they had while quarantining or isolating. Student attitudes toward writing, understanding of emotional regulation, and communication between teacher and student also improved.



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