Testing racial equity measure in afterschool learning

Gina McGovern, Ph.D., from the department of Human Development and Family Studies, is studying the implementation of racial equity-based teaching practices outside of the classroom

| Author: Ellie Heron, ORGS Intern | Media Contact: Kara Owens

Gina McGovern, Ph.D., a professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies, spent the summer of 2022 working with undergraduate senior Anyah Lewis to study the racial equity-based teaching practices afterschool educators are implementing in their social-emotional learning programming with youth.

Through eight focus groups with afterschool educators, McGovern and Lewis investigated how a recently developed to measure, known as the Racial Equity-Oriented Social-Emotional Learning (REQSEL) measure, can be adapted for out-of-school settings. The REQSEL measure, developed with Deborah Rivas-Drake, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Michigan, was designed to “assess the extent to which practitioners advance racial equity through their social-emotional learning practices.” This measure builds on findings from the School and Community Pathways to Engagement project, and has four components:

1) awareness of diverse ethnic/racial identities and experiences

2) acknowledging and addressing racial injustice

3) acknowledging and addressing xenophobia

4) supporting students’ agency, voice, and power

Professor McGovern’s study also investigated how these practices align with trauma-informed approaches to social-emotional learning and the barriers that prevent afterschool educators from implementing racial equity-based social-emotional learning practices. McGovern and Lewis are currently analyzing their results for publication.

This story is brought to you by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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