Promoting social and emotional learning during school closures: why and how

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Promoting social and emotional learning during school closures: why and how

With schools closed now for students in most parts of the world, instruction is being shifted to virtual teaching and learning. For those with greater access to digital resources, this instruction can include the use of digital devices—such as computers, tablets, and smart phones—to connect with students either synchronously or asynchronously using video-enhanced content. Where students and their families do not have such devices, mass media platforms such as radio and television are being used to transmit both static and interactive lessons for students as well as guidance tips for parents on how to support student learning while at home.

As important and effective as these approaches can be in fostering ongoing learning during this period of global crisis, we cannot lose sight of another important facet of student’s lives and ability to learn: their safety and sense of stability (UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and UNESCO, 2015). The international development community has begun to recognize the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) and positive and safe school and classroom climate in promoting academic achievement in schools. Further, donors, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have invested millions of dollars exploring ways to bolster social and emotional skills within students and teachers alike, including ways to raise awareness among teachers about the importance of safe and positive environments. Unfortunately, removing students from the classroom does not necessarily remove them from risks of violence (United Nations, 2020; World Health Organization, 2019). Just as the effects of this global pandemic are felt by adults, it also impacts children whose routines and structures have largely disappeared (Stafford, et al., 2009). As the world grapples with how best to promote ongoing learning among children while at home it must, therefore, also continue to capitalize on improvements made in SEL development and child safety and security. Indeed, the current pandemic offers unexpected and unprecedented opportunities to ensure that progress achieved in SEL development and student safety is retained. For the education practitioners community, this means we must find and act in innovative ways to equip students, as well as their parents and teachers, with the social and emotional competencies they need to productively deal with the stressors and potential risks in their lives. Read more

Source : SHARED.RTI