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Early Childhood Educators' Transformative Social and Emotional Learning: Uncovering Insights on Family Empowerment and Community Partnerships

Start Date September 2021 End Date February 2023


Extend the understanding of the personal, historical, and experiential factors that contribute to the transformative SEL (SEL with an equity lens), FE, and CP practices of ECE teachers in NYC by building on a unique convening that is grounded in critical culturally relevant pedagogy and the Five Awarenesses of Teaching Framework (FATF; Rodriguez, & Mascio, 2018).  The study aims to:

1.     Learn from and characterize experiences/expertise of teachers' implementation of FE and CP practices;

2.     Explore relationships between teachers' transformative SEL and well-being to FE and CP practices; and

3.     Identify gaps in supports for teachers' transformative SEL development, well-being and implementation of FE and CP practices.


Using mixed methods we will characterize and relate ECE educator SEL and well-being to Family Empowerment and Community Partnership practices.

Sampling Strategy:

Participants will be recruited from 100 ECE female teachers of color who will attend the 2020 Transformative SEL Convening. Teachers who attend the convening will represent a variety of early learning programs that exist across NYC. All participants will be invited to opt-in to survey participation and data will be collected through interactive convening activities. A random sample of 10 participants will be recruited for interviews, 15 participants will be recruited to participate in one of three focus groups, and 5 will be recruited to serve on the study’s advisory committee.


  • Surveys: Surveys will assess teacher’s transformative SEL, well-being, teaching experience, demographics, FE and CP practices. The battery, developed by PI Rodriguez, was adapted to be culturally and racially sensitive. All survey measures were pilot tested and have adequate psychometric properties with ECE teachers.
  • Interviews & Focus Groups: Both formats will use the Self-in-Relation-to-Teaching cognitive interview developed by PI Rodriguez that was utilized in the ongoing CEHD-DECE RCTs with Pre-K teachers at multiple NYCDOE sites, primarily with low-income women of color.
  • Interactive Convening Activities: Data will be collected from a variety of interactive activities conducted during the convening, including artifacts from individual reflection exercises, role-plays, and video feedback booth. Researchers will take detailed observation notes and audio-record with permission.


Vanessa Rodriguez, Ed.D. Assistant Professor (PI)

Kathleen Gouley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor (Co-PI)



Contributing Institutions

NYU Langone Health, Center for Early Childhood Health and Development