Publication Date

Spring 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Luis Poza

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


The purpose of this study was to bring to life the experiences of how the development of a Social, Emotional and Cultural lens prepares teachers to meet their own social and emotional needs in the classroom and consequently be better prepared to meet their students’ social and emotional needs in ways that are culturally sustaining. This qualitative research study explored these phenomena through a series of three in-depth interviews and a classroom observation with four in-service teachers in a Northern California school district that prioritizes social emotional learning (SEL) for students and teachers. The insights from this research may inform school districts, teacher preparation programs, and political officials who influence policy around teacher education regarding how they might begin the work of centering the relational aspects in the classroom while simultaneously disrupting traditionally harmful dynamics of power and privilege. Underpinning this work is the assumption that cultivating teachers’ critical and compassionate understanding of themselves in relation to the larger sociopolitical dynamics in society supports them in bringing awareness to their actions and the fullness of their implications on themselves and their students. Further argued is that knowledge of those implications alongside skill development in social, emotional and cultural competence will transform teacher behaviors in the classroom.