Call to Action: Social Emotional Learning

Education can be lifesaving, especially in emergency contexts, and we know that social-emotional learning has that real potential to have large, high-scale impact in these environments. Here are 5 insights and approaches that we’ve learned about social-emotional learning. The first call to action is for more rigorous research, monitoring and evaluation of social and emotional learning interventions for displaced children and youth, not only in high-income countries but also in the context of emergencies – what works, at what costs, and under what conditions to bring not only short-term academic outcomes but also long-term, lifetime outcomes. The second call for action is about learning through play. And learning through play is about empowering children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. In stressful situations when children are displaced, it’s inherently traumatic and damaging, but with play you have positive experiences, and it builds social-emotional learning, which allows you to cope with difficult challenges and also collaborate and have friends. The third call to action point is to localize social-emotional learning, and this is really important because we have to contextualize the curriculum, the activities, and the different strategies to meet the needs of the local teachers and students. We want to make sure that we translate it into the correct language, that everything is culturally appropriate and we want to make sure that we’re doing no harm. The fourth call to action is self-reliance. Self-reliance is one of the central truths of human development practice. And nowhere is it more applicable than in situations where children, families, teachers are dealing with trauma and crisis. The fifth call agreement is invest on teachers and caregivers, and it is important because teachers are playing an important role in the classroom. We have to equip and invest on teacher trainings to better respond to the children in the classroom. Education has the power to heal, and social-emotional learning is that next new frontier in education in emergencies. Please join us on this social-emotional learning journey.

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