Educational Equity and Social Emotional Learning

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Today’s Bite-Sized PD for Educational Equity was inspired by:

Social and Emotional Learning and Equity in School Discipline

By Gregory, Anne; Fergus, Edward

Future of Children| Princeton-Brookings

Racial and gender disciplinary disparities persist in education throughout the United States. Specifically, male students and black students receive out of school suspensions at higher rates than white and female students. Additionally, disciplinary matters that involve diverse learners, LGBTQ students, and students of color are more likely to be referred to a school administrator.

Although more districts are integrating social-emotional learning competencies into their discipline policies, the authors argue that these competencies should be contextualized within an ecological framework to account for power, privilege, culture. An ecological framework grounds the SEL competencies in educational equity.

What's an ecological framework?

An ecological framework focuses on the relationship between students and environmental factors (e.g., instruction, classroom management, school decor), as well as the cultural beliefs attached to these factors. An ecological framework causes the educator to look beyond the student into oneself using the SEL competencies as a mirror.

What are CASEL's SEL Competencies again?

Top Five Takeaways for Equity

SEL Competencies for Teachers

  1. Self Awareness - educators reflect on their beliefs to identify negative stereotypes they hold about student cultures, styles, languages (p. 128).
  2. Social Awareness - educators develop a sociocultural lens to understand how historical inequalities contribute to inequities in discipline (p 129).
  3. Self Management - educators support students from under-represented groups to develop self-management skills taking power, privilege, and culture into account (p.130).
  4. Relationship Skills - educators intentionally develop relationships with the range of students they teach, not just with students who look like them (p. 130).
  5. Responsible Decision-Making - educators ground their discipline approach within an ecological framework to make more equitable disciplinary decisions (p. 131).

Do Now: Analyze your school's discipline numbers for inequity.


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