Andre Clark, High School Team Lead

Culture Capital. Social and emotional learning allows people to connect across ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic lines. It creates an environment where culture capital can be fully appreciated and utilized for the benefit of everyone.

I was recently doing some research for a personal project that I am working on. In the midst of this project, I ran across the term “culture capital”. Culture capital is the social asset that allows one to function outside of the norms of their own culture. This would require several skills and is also a huge reason why some people succeed and others fail.

Culture capital has several layers to it. In researching this term further, I realized how much culture capital social and emotional learning (SEL) offers. First, one has to be able to effectively listen if they are to engage themselves in a different culture. By culture, I am not necessarily referring to ethnicity or race, but just an environment with different beliefs, systems, and values from your own.

Listening plays a key role in adapting or assimilating to different cultural norms because it offers the opportunity to gain insight on different perspectives. Next, one has to be able to empathize and refrain from judgement. Empathizing allows one to connect to a different culture than their own. Learning is social and relative in nature, so it is important that you are able to relate whatever you are learning to something you have already learned (assimilation).

There have been many dangers associated with the lack of cultural capital such as lack of relationship sustainability, achievement barriers in higher education and career, and communication break downs that might occur. The idea of culture capital serves as additional evidence that SEL is needed for children to develop into socially responsible adults that will reach their potential.

Frameworks is at the helm of this culture shift right here in Tampa Bay.