Strengthening the Social and Emotional Competence and Well-Being of Children and Youth Through Universal Programs and Practices in Schools and Communities: Recent Research and Practical Strategies

Sep 14, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Kimberly Schonert-Reichl

Understanding the factors that children and youth need to be successful in school and in life has long been an important objective for researchers, practitioners, parents, and policymakers interested in the promotion of competence and the prevention of educational, psychological, and behavioural problems. Recent innovations in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) in the past decade have seen an abundance of research documenting the critical role that social and emotional competencies, such as self-regulation, empathy, and resilience, play in successful development and mental health in schools as well as in families and communities. In this session, Dr. Schonert-Reichl will describe some of the SEL initiatives in Canada and internationally taking place at the system level, and highlight recent research that identifies the necessary ingredients for integrating SEL into an entire system. She will provide examples from her research on SEL, including studies examining: (a) the effectiveness of classroom-based universal SEL programs such as the Roots of Empathy and MindUp (an SEL program that integrates mindful awareness practices), (b) the promotion of adult  SEL, and (c) population-level assessments of SEL and child well-being, including recent research on the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). Dr. Schonert-Reichl also will describe strategies that translate research into practice. Dr. Schonert-Reichl will emphasize that the explicit and intentional promotion of children’s social and emotional competence is critical for nurturing the citizens of tomorrow.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify and reflect on some of the problems that children and adolescents face in today’s society, in part, via population level data on well-being in children in BC
  • Understand universal approaches to promoting children’s social and emotional competence, and identify some of the recent science supporting social and emotional learning (SEL)
  • Identify some of the specific strategies and evidence-based universal approaches being implemented in BC to promote children’s SEL at the system level.