Many schools are introducing programs for promoting students' social and emotional learning (SEL). However, evaluations often report that intended outcomes have not been achieved, attributing this to teachers' poor adherence (fidelity) to a program's goals, structures, and processes. We propose an alternative view of teachers' involvement in curricula delivery. We position teachers as critical and reflective practitioners who use their professional knowledge and experience to solve educational problems, adapting methods of program delivery, differentiation, and contextual fit as one of their problem-solving processes.

In this chapter, we report our findings from of interview data from 106 teachers involved in implementing Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS), an SEL program, in 23 primary schools in Greater Manchester, England. We used Shulman's (1986, 1987) categories of teachers' knowledge to explore the types of professional knowledge that underpinned teachers' problem solving and subsequent adaptations to the prescribed curriculum. Our analysis revealed that teachers frequently drew upon identifiable components of professional knowledge, particularly pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge of learners and their characteristics, to solve educational problems during their delivery of PATHS.