Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Cynthia Reyes



The shift in the nation’s political climate between 2016-2019 has exacerbated the longstanding pervasive issues of racism and discrimination against People of Color and those marginalized by societal inequity. This has serious implications for teaching and schooling, as it causes children to feel unsafe, question their sense of belonging, and internalize racial oppression. Indicators of inequitable school experiences for Students of Color and students from marginalized identity groups warrant attention to the socially determined facets of public education: specifically a sense of school belonging (SOSB) for Students of Color, the impact of racial trauma, the patterns of social engagement that shape their experiences, as well as the pedagogical practices teachers employ to support their social-emotional wellbeing.

This qualitative case study seeks to illustrate how classroom teachers at Arday Elementary School support the social-emotional wellbeing of Students of Color by examining their understanding of racial trauma and SOSB and their use of equity literate pedagogies in the classroom to effectively support their Students of Color in a public elementary school in Northern New England. Findings include the hidden curriculum, teacher critical consciousness, cultural congruence, learning environment, racial trauma, and resistance. These findings point to a newly conceptualized framework, Equity Pedagogy for Social-Emotional Wellbeing (EPSEW), which applies a social determinants perspective to examinations of educational inequity and considers the social and community contexts that predetermine and influence inequitable outcomes.

Keywords: equity pedagogy, equity literacy, social determinants, school belonging, racial trauma, internalized racism, social emotional well-being, critical pedagogy, anti-bias education



Number of Pages

276 p.