Recently, CASEL hosted their SEL Exchange Virtual Summit. As a leader in social and emotional learning (SEL), CASEL brought in various voices and perspectives on the future of SEL. Here are five key ideas from their conference to consider when thinking about SEL long-term.
#1 Excelling Through Student Agency
With a strength-based approach to SEL we shift to a culture where every student is considered and we’re all working together to grow. Research shows that giving students agency and influence in their learning makes them more involved and engaged in their education.
#2 Engaging Youth in Working Within Communities
Youth-led participatory action research is a youth empowerment approach used to engage young people in identifying issues in their schools and communities and having them contribute to solutions that promote healthy development and well-being. Not only does this give them a voice, but it helps them think outside of their bubble of school and how they can make a real difference connected to things they care about.
#3 Finding Themselves
No two people have the same exact strengths. How do we encourage students to use them for good in the world? With a strength-based SEL program you can help students recognize their gifts to craft their future and contribute meaningfully to their communities
#4 Being Aware of the Whole Child
While the previous focal point of SEL has been at school, we’re recognizing the importance of incorporating SEL in all places students are in. This prioritizes the whole child and their experience, not just their experience at school.
#5 Elevating Student Voice
Throughout the Summit we got to hear from students across the country with various lived experiences and passions. They shared how SEL has given them the tools to ignite fire for change, storytelling, and advocacy. Whether it’s allowing students to incorporate their interests into their academic work or giving students the space to express themselves during extracurriculars, student voice will continue to be an important part of the conversation in education.
It’s clear that amplifying civic engagement, community involvement, and student voice will continue to have an important role in SEL.