Social Emotional Learning Researcher, Scholar, Teacher Advocate
DR. TIA NAVELENE BARNES
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I am an assistant professor in Human Development and Family Sciences and received my doctorate from the University of Florida where I majored in special education with an emphasis on emotional and/or behavioral disorders. I then worked at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence where my work focused on classroom environments for students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders and examining social-emotional learning through a culturally responsive lens. These experiences influenced my area of research which focuses on the social-emotional well-being of minoritized populations.
As a special educator, I was struck by the lack of social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions that were available and relevant to my culturally diverse students. As a researcher, I am working to address this through my evolving research agenda which focuses on answering the following question: What school and classroom practices best support the social-emotional needs of minoritized students, particularly those with or at-risk for emotional and/or behavioral disorders? To address this overarching question, my research agenda includes 4 primary areas that are described below.
SCHOOL-BASED SEL EFFICACY AND EFFECTIVENESS
There are a range of social-emotional learning interventions available out there and these interventions vary by theoretical framework, population served, and intervention components. What works and for whom is an important question when looking at SEL. I systematically review and summarize various SEL interventions to inform practice and future research in SEL.
PARTICIPANT CHARACTERISTICS AND SEL
I study how student, teacher, and administrator characteristics including race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, behavioral, emotional, and academic profiles influence the effectiveness of SEL interventions. Examining these relationships supports researchers and schools in modifying SEL interventions for diverse student populations.
INFLUENCE OF CLASSROOM AND SCHOOL SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS
Classroom and school environments play a big part in emotional well-being. By developing tools to measure classroom social interactions, my colleagues and I are supporting schools in their efforts to improve their school environments for SEL.
CULTURALLY RELEVANT SEL
Within this area of research, I explore SEL interventions to determine what, if any, refinements and modifications can be made to support implementation of the intervention in culturally relevant ways. My work in this area includes intervention refinement for students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students who identify as LGBTQ.