Social and Emotional Learning, Vol. 27, No. 1
“Social and Emotional Learning and Equity in School Discipline”
What’s the focus of your research?
My scholarship is driven by the need to understand how some teachers and schools disrupt racial and gender disparities in school discipline. We know many educators are able to build trusting relationships and successfully engage with students who have histories of suspension. We also know some schools are able to close the racial discipline gap. We need empirical examinations of best practices and programs to help support educators in transforming their approaches to school discipline.
If readers take one big idea from your Future of Children article, what should it be?
The one big idea I hope to offer in our article is that student-centered and colorblind conceptualization of social emotional learning (SEL) may limit the degree to which school reforms can substantially address racial and gender discipline disparities. Looking to the future, we hope readers will consider the promise of an equity-oriented, ecologically-oriented SEL that accounts for the cultural and power dynamics that affect disciplinary interactions.
What did you learn from writing a Future of Children article?
I learned that we are entering an exciting period in school discipline reform whereby educators, policy makers, and researchers are beginning to critically appraise their SEL initiatives with and eye toward increasing considerations about equity and culture.
Anne Gregory is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.