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Approaches to Set the Conditions for SEL Growth

Approaches to Set the Conditions for SEL Growth

In order for students to develop their academic, social, and emotional skills, they must learn in an environment that is conducive to developing their skills. This environment includes the physical, academic, social, and disciplinary environment; all of these environments should strive to have a positive climate that supports students in feeling connected, challenged, and engaged (Osher & Berg, 2018).

Students must be able to engage in experiential learning individually and with their classmates, knowing that they are safe to try and fail, experiment, and construct their knowledge on their own terms. In order to facilitate the natural learning cycle and ensure that students are experiencing deep, meaningful learning, we must take steps to create a climate in which students can thrive. These steps include:

• Creating a shared vision for how a classroom is managed and how it operates
• Co-constructing behavioral expectations and norms between students and teachers
• Committing to treating every person in the school community with respect, along with showing students what respect looks like and which behaviors are
respectful in which situations
• Cultivating a growth mindset in students where they are encouraged to make mistakes and try again in a safe and supportive environment

Collaborating with students on classroom norms, rules, and expectations can create a positive learning environment. In an environment where students have co-constructed its framework, they have a stake in how the classroom runs. Additionally, nurturing a growth mindset shows students that their skills and abilities are not fixed, but rather constantly evolving as they learn new concepts. Taking these small steps can have a big impact on fostering a climate where social and emotional skills can grow.

Approaches to Set the Conditions for SEL Growth

Osher, D., & Berg, J. (2017). School climate and social and emotional learning: The integration of two approaches. Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.


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