Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Lolita Tabron

Second Advisor

Kristina Hesbol

Third Advisor

Erin Anderson


Adolescent girls, Feminism, Middle school, Social emotional learning


The development of healthy social emotional skills is critical for adolescents to stay engaged in school, develop positive self-esteem, and engage in healthy relationships over the course of their life. Adolescent girls seem to be particularly vulnerable during the period of adolescence and attention must be paid to their specific needs. There is a call for social emotional learning in schools to be more robust (especially during a crisis like the pandemic) and more thoughtfully differentiated to meet the needs of all students. The purpose of this case study was to understand if and how school leadership in one rural middle school differentiated the social emotional learning program to meet the needs of adolescent girls and, to understand the lived experiences of girls in that program. Findings from this research revealed six important themes: the uniqueness of rural education, a desire to educate the whole child, the influence of relationships, a need for differentiation, the silencing of girls’ voices and disrupting the norm. The implications of these findings suggest that rural school leaders need to create intentional, differentiated experiences for adolescent girls to authentically engage in social emotional learning that is supportive to their experience of being a woman in a patriarchal society.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jessamyn Lockhart


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

162 pgs


Educational leadership, Education policy