Today we are joined by Dr. Emma McMain. Emma works in the College of Education at Washington State University as a postdoctoral teacher and researcher, focusing on assessment for pre-service elementary teachers, cultural considerations in education, and social and emotional learning (SEL). Her work aims to promote social and ecological justice, seeing education as an important site of social transformation.
Dr McMain's recent works include: Drawing the line: Teachers affectively and discursively question what counts as “appropriate behavior” in schools — which dissects the power dynamics of classrooms in determining what is “appropriate” behavior; and The “Problem Tree” of SEL: A Sociopolitical Literature Review — which contextualizes what social-emotional learning actually means in a classroom setting from a variety of perspectives and in history. Particularly, we wanted to reach out and talk more about the idea of SEL as systemic change versus SEL as an add-on, and why this matters as we think about racism, sexism, neoliberalism, and more, especially in the context of SEL in the ongoing culture war and attacks on schools.