A January 15, 2020 Education Dive article states that, according to an Edutopia report, educators seeking ways to make Social-emotional Learning (SEL) more culturally sensitive and equitable. According to researches, “while SEL stresses internal qualities needed for success, it should not be the sole focus and that external forces like racism, sexism, and ableism should also be acknowledged to create a complete picture and that failure to do so could result in students blaming themselves when they encounter such obstacles. In essence, students should develop a “critical consciousness,” which is the ability to recognize and resist oppressive systems holding them and their communities back. Research suggests that youth who embrace critical consciousness have better self-esteem and more resilience, academic success, professional aspirations and are more politically engaged. The Edutopia article thus recommends that students be given a framework to recognize social forces marginalizing groups. Once introduced, students can use that framework in all their classes and put historical and current events into context.
An additional report by New America asserts that, while all 50 states have teaching standards to show respect for the cultural diversity of students, only a few states specify what that really means. Alabama, Washington and Minnesota further recommend that teachers understand institutional biases.