- children & adolescents, cultural diversity, discrimination & bias, learning, justice, poverty, underserved & vulnerable, stress, school settings
Dr. Elmesky’s research is focused on developing sociocultural understandings of the schooling experiences of students who are the most marginalized in our nation. She studies how deficit views about specific student populations and the recurrent misunderstandings of their non-dominant forms of cultural and social capital, lead to tension and disconnections between marginalized children and their school environments.
Her recent work in schools seeks to illuminate the public health implications when punitive school cultures lead to anger, aggression, and alienation becoming normalized experiences for students. Her research additionally links poor achievement in school, and within the STEM areas in particular, to teaching and learning environments where students regularly experience micro-aggressions and symbolic violence. Whereas marginalized youth often face hostility and social unrest outside of school, Dr. Elmesky’s research is committed to helping educational institutions consistently serve as the safe spaces where students have the chance to flourish in healthy cognitive, social, and emotional capacities.