Research Report

Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Through an Equity Lens

August 2020 | The Education Trust

This report from The Education Trust finds that, while 90% of schools report that they teach social and emotional learning, current schools often rely on social and emotional learning that prioritizes modifying student behavior, using a deficit lens. The report argues that social and emotional learning should instead focus on the sociological, economic, cultural, and systemic factors that affect a student’s sense of security, belonging, and self-worth; and schools should focus on using social and emotional learning to create an environment where students can succeed. The report also notes distrust between communities of color and education systems, which then impacts the level of academic rigor a student and their family believe they are prepared for. This report draws these conclusions from previous research, as well as a focus group composed of students of color and their families.