As youth providers, educators, parents and policymakers search for ways to ensure youth thrive, the research routinely points back to the role social-emotional learning (SEL) plays in helping teens thrive in learning, work and life.
SEL skills such as emotion management, empathy, teamwork, responsibility, initiative and problem-solving can be taught, and adults can help youth build these important skills in a variety of settings.
With this knowledge, Wyman was honored to join the Susan Crown Exchange in a collaborative effort, known as the Social Emotional Learning Challenge, to identify best practices alongside a team of researchers and seven other programs across the nation. Research and real-time conversations resulted in a formal collection of proven practices and curriculum that adults can use to help youth build their capacity for emotion management, empathy, teamwork, responsibility, initiative and problem-solving.
The research showed that high-quality programming should include:
- Project-based approaches utilizing SEL content.
- An emotionally safe space and program culture.
- “In the moment” responsive staff practices to support and challenge youth participants as they developed SEL skills.
- Staff support as they facilitate SEL programming with youth.
Wyman, other SEL Challenge participants, the Susan Crown Exchange and Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality are bringing these key learnings to the field through a variety of accessible content, presentations, workshops and conferences. In November, Wyman will offer a special SEL Institute for community partners, providers and funders. Additional content and lessons from the SEL Challenge are all available at selpractices.org.
Research like the Social Emotional Learning Challenge helps Wyman – and our partners – accelerate our learning to support more youth, more effectively.
As we approach our SEL Institute, stay tuned for additional blog posts, and download the free SEL guide at selpractices.org.