Culturally Responsive SEL


Four primary areas comprise this research agenda: (1) how student characteristics, particularly factors related to culture (e.g., race, ethnicity, socio-economic status), influence SEL intervention effectiveness; (2) school-based SEL efficacy; (3) how classroom environments play a role in outcomes for students with EBD; and (4) how to effectively refine and modify SEL interventions for culturally diverse populations while keeping the active ingredients of the intervention to ensure effectiveness.


Contact Tia Barnes, who leads this work, for support in incorporating culturally responsive practices in your SEL approach.

Cultural Responsiveness (CR) and SEL have existed as separate fields, but we need to consider them together to best meet the needs of diverse students. Despite the student-centered nature of SEL, CR has been an afterthought instead of central to program development or implementation. This line of inquiry applies a culturally responsive lens to ensure that SEL interventions are relevant and effective for culturally diverse students, particularly those with or at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).

~Zaretta Hammond, Teacher educator and author

"...the foundation of culturally responsive instruction is not technical, but relational. It’s about authentic caring."


Several projects and papers under development bridge CR and SEL. One paper argues that teachers must be culturally and emotionally intelligent to be successful in delivering culturally responsive social emotional learning. (Cultural Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Responsiveness: A Conceptual Model for Social Emotional Learning by Tia Barnes is currently under review.) A second paper presents perspectives from school personnel on how they use culturally responsive practices as part of their SEL programming. (Tia Barnes and Kathleen McCallops coauthored The Use of Culturally Responsive Social Emotional Learning Strategies in a Diverse School: A Case Study is under review.)

© 2018 by The RELATE Project, LLC