Introduction: Social Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching Practices

By Stevenson, Heidi; Markowitz, Nancy Lourie | Teacher Education Quarterly, Fall 2019 | Go to article overview

Introduction: Social Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching Practices


Stevenson, Heidi, Markowitz, Nancy Lourie, Teacher Education Quarterly


Welcome to this special issue of Teacher Education Quarterly in which we focus on two critical and frequently siloed areas of study and practice in teacher education--social-emotional learning (SEL) (1) and culturally responsive and sustaining teaching practices (CRT). (2) Given that the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing's 2016 Teaching Performance Expectations require teacher educators to explicitly address SEL and CRT in their teacher education programs, and that there appears to be confusion in the field about how to enact these requirements, the California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE) decided on SEL and CRT as its Fall 2019 Conference theme. (3)

Since the intention of this special issue is to complement the Fall 2019 CCTE Conference and move the field forward back in the fall of 2018 we developed and distributed a survey to CCTE members to determine from whom they would like to hear and what they would like to learn about these two areas of study and practice in teacher preparation. We received over 200 survey responses, indicating significant interest in SEL and CRT. The responses informed which authors we invited to contribute to this special issue.

Results from the CCTE survey indicated a common concern about the lack of a guiding vision for how to integrate SEL and CRT into teacher preparation and a common language for talking about these two areas. This absence of shared meaning and language makes it difficult for programs to enact a common vision of what SEL and CRT should look like in teacher preparation. Interestingly these findings are consistent with those from a previous state educator survey conducted by the Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child (Bouffard 2017) that indicated a need to see examples of what the integration of SEL and CRT looks like in teacher preparation programs. We hope that readers find that both this special issue of Teacher Education Quarterly and the Fall 2019 California Council on Teacher Education Conference theme of integrating SEL and CRT into teacher education promote rich dialogue and encourage action.

This issue has three distinct sections. It begins with three theoretical pieces regarding SEL and CRT, followed by articles from three different teacher education programs that chronicle the journey of integrating SEL and CRT into their respective programs. The final article provides insights into moving the field of teacher education forward by developing SEL and CRT competence through advocacy and professional training.

Theoretical Lenses for SEL and CRT

The first three articles by Watson et al., Hollie, and Ginsberg and Wlodkowski present powerful theoretical lenses through which to view SEL and CRT.

Watson, Daly, Rabin, and Smith describe the formation of, and rationale for the Child Development Project and the program known as Developmental Discipline. They then describe experiences applying Developmental Discipline in a K-12 classroom as well as in two different teacher education programs. Throughout the article they are continuing the conversation about the role attachment theory and building trust play in creating effective and caring classroom environments.

Guiding Questions

In what ways are beginning teachers able to integrate Developmental Discipline into their classrooms?

How can classroom management be reconceived as an avenue for connection and building trusting relationships?

In what ways are teacher educators modeling Developmental Discipline techniques in their work with teaching candidates at the university and in the field?

Hollie presents an informative overview of the historical and theoretical development of culturally responsive teaching and then goes on to ask important questions about how the field of teacher education perceives and operationalizes culturally responsive teaching, as originally proposed by Gladson-Billings, looking through the lens of "remixing" in music. …

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