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Education Collaboratory Team Member Spotlight: Hiroko Kawase

March 20, 2024
by Ezinwa Osuoha

The Education Collaboratory at Yale launched in July 2023. To share more about our work, we are spotlighting all the dedicated team members of our lab, highlighting their work and what brings them to our team's mission to advance the science and practice of SEL.

What is your role at the Education Collaboratory?

I am an undergraduate research assistant at the Education Collaboratory! I am currently a sophomore studying Cognitive Science and Education studies and joined during the fall semester of 2023. 😊

What brought you to the field of SEL?

As a person that has grown up in four countries, I know that the skills taught through SEL can be useful in all education systems, which drives my interest in researching more about the science of SEL. Furthermore, my experience in working at youth mentorship programs in Hong Kong and New Haven Truman School) inspired my interest in the role that SEL and soft skill development has on closing socioeconomic gaps. In Hong Kong, a lot of resources are proportionally distributed by school ranking, yet there is often little mobility for students between schools (e.g.: once they test into a “lower tier” school at the age of 11/12, they often have very little chance to test higher). The program I worked on aimed to tackle this through ensuring that students developed soft skills (e.g.: advocacy, communication, leadership) that can be used when asking for help, mentorship and advocating for themselves. Seeing the program's impact got me interested in exploring SEL from a teaching/ mentorship perspective and from a research perspective.

What line of research do you find the most interesting/intriguing in the field right now?

I find discussions around mentorship and how effective mentorship models can integrate SEL into their curriculum to be fascinating. Yet, equally fascinating as the impacts on students, is also how teachers play a role in incorporating SEL into the classroom.

Right now, I am supporting the Objective Awareness and Mindfulness Measure (OAMM), an objective teacher self-report measure funded by a Mind and Life PEACE grant with Dr. Almut Zieher. I am interested in not only the general goal of improving social and emotional school programming, but especially programming for teachers and the learning environments they facilitate for their students.

What energizes you outside of work?

I love being outside in nature (e.g.: hiking, walking, etc.) and love anything to do with being disconnected (eg: phone cleanses!).

I also love eating and cooking Japanese food. As a foodie, I spent some of my summer becoming a google map reviewer where I went viral and got 95K views on my reviews.

Submitted by Ezinwa Osuoha on March 05, 2024