Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies [downloadable]

Kernels-of-Practice-for-SEL248As schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs embrace the expanding field of social and emotional learning (SEL), a number of barriers have arisen to implementing programming at scale, including time and funding. These challenges are likely exacerbated in low-income contexts and raise the need for more flexible and affordable supports.

This brief suggests one possible approach to lowering the barriers: identifying and using low-cost, targeted strategies called “evidence-based prevention kernels.” These strategies, which address a specific behavior, could be taught quickly and be more feasible to implement than comprehensive programs. For example, a teacher could use a deep-breathing exercise (known as the “turtle technique”) to help students calm down or hand signals to indicate a change in direction for the class.

Drawing on a  content analysis of 25 top SEL programs by researcher Stephanie Jones and her team at Harvard’s EASEL Lab, the brief shows how kernels could be applied across different settings—in classrooms, for example, but also on the playground and at home—to maximize their impact. It also breaks down the possible components of kernels to help practitioners understand the optimal conditions for their use.

This brief from the Wallace Foundation is part of a commissioned series that draws on Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out, a resource that examines  25 widely-used SEL programs, providing comprehensive information and cross-program analyses about the various in-school and out-of-school-time programs currently available in the United States.

Download the brief.

Source: The Wallace Foundation | Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies, | © 2018 Wallace Foundation

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