Giving Compass' Take:

· After recent tragedies across the nation, students and parents are advocating for more social and emotional learning. The Aspen Institute shares a collection of statements addressing the roles this approach plays in development.

· How can SEL-based initiatives improve education outcomes? This is something that many nonprofits in the sector may want to explore in their strategies for the next school year.

· Read more about social emotional learning and the future of education.

From Parkland, Florida to Washington, DC, youth are leading change in American education – in classrooms, town hall meetings, and the streets of their communities. “The voices of young people of all races and genders, of all political persuasions and backgrounds, are rising up,” said Tim Shriver, co-chair of the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. “[They] remind us what’s best about our country and challenge us to fulfill the dreams that we have for our children.”

Shriver joined a series of panelists for the Commission-hosted Youth and Family Calls to Action event, which centered on building individual and community resilience by advancing young people’s comprehensive development. The youth and parents on the panel underscored the need for safe and healthy learning environments, youth mentorship and psychological support, and approaches to school culture and classroom teaching and learning that ensure children have the support they need to thrive socially and emotionally in addition to sharpening their academic prowess.

Across the board, the panelists advocated for the integration of social and emotional learning strategies into school curriculum and after-school programs. Social and emotional learning focuses on enhancing students’ capacities to problem-solve and think critically, regulate their emotional responses, work collaboratively, and successfully deal with challenges in school, life, and the workplace. According to “The Evidence Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development,” a collection of statements from the National Commission’s Council of Distinguished Scientists, “decades of research in human development, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, and educational practice and policy, as well as other fields, have illuminated that major domains of human development — social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, academic — are deeply intertwined in the brain and in behavior. All are central to learning.”

Read the full article about social and emotional learning by Lalini Pedris at The Aspen Institute.