Social Emotional Learning
Social emotional learning is the process through which people build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions. When we develop these skills, we improve our ability to form relationships and connect with individuals of diverse perspectives, cultures, languages, identities, and abilities, helping to create more equitable and better performing schools and communities. (source)
Expanded learning opportunities offered outside the traditional school day have the flexibility to engage young people in hands-on, experiential learning that build these critical social emotional skills.
In Washington, School's Out Washington led the process of developing a set of Quality Standards for the expanded learning field rooted in social emotional learning practices. These Standards provide a benchmark to guide youth development professionals in delivering quality programming with specific standards on Cultural Competency & Relevancy, Relationships, and Youth Leadership & Engagement all of which get to the heart of social emotional skill building.
You can learn more about Social Emotional Learning and SOWA's role in supporting it in Washington in our SEL Policy Brief (PDF).
How Washington State is Addressing SEL
In 2015, the Washington State Legislature directed OSPI to “convene a workgroup to recommend comprehensive benchmarks for developmentally appropriate interpersonal and decision-making knowledge and skills of social and emotional learning for grades kindergarten through high school that build upon what is being done in early learning.”
Based on this directive, the Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks Workgroup developed a framework with guiding principles, standards and benchmarks that provide the foundation and system for effective SEL programming.
Washington's Six SEL Standards
For questions on our SEL advocacy efforts, please contact David Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions on the practice of Social Emotional Learning in program settings, or to contract a SOWA coach or trainer to work with your staff, contact Bill Wells at email@example.com.