Learn How to Teach Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Learn How to Teach Social and Emotional Learning Skills

boy with boy tie big glasses and arms crossedNorthwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy is launching a six-week certificate course to help teachers incorporate important social and emotional learning skills into the classroom.

The Science of Social and Emotional Learning begins Jan. 26, 2022 and will be taught by Tim Dohrer, director of Teacher Leadership in the Master’s of Science in Education program and assistant professor of learning sciences.

Register here. Registration closes on Jan. 18, 2022.

Recent work by School of Education and Social Policy economist Kirabo Jackson suggests that teachers’ ability to cultivate non-cognitive skills–traits such as adaptability, motivation, and self-restraint–is a far better indicator of a student’s long-term success than their impact on standardized test scores, according to the study published online in the Journal of Political Economy.

“Teachers are more than educational-outcome machines – they are leaders who can guide students toward a purposeful adulthood,” Jackson wrote in EducationNext. “Students who attend schools that emphasize social-emotional learning are more likely to attend college and have a reduced chance of entering the criminal justice system.”

The online short course is grounded in self-reflection and collaboration. Teachers learn the foundational concepts of social and emotional learning, while faculty and guest experts help them integrate skills like relationship-building and improved social awareness into the classroom.

Some of Jackson’s research will be covered in the course, along with work by other Northwestern faculty members, including developmental psychologists Emma Adam, the Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Human Development and Social Policy; and Onnie Rogers, assistant professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Science. Jackson, Adam, and Rogers are faculty fellows with Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research.

Students will also watch interviews with Paul Goren, director of the Center for Education Efficacy, Excellence, and Equity, and hear from professors and instructors from outside the School of Education and Social Policy.

The course is designed for all teachers, but particularly those at PreK-12 and PreK-16 levels. Educators from all backgrounds, including educational providers, professors, lecturers, researchers, and academic staff can benefit from the SEL insights in this course.

“By examining the science behind social emotional learning, anyone with an interest in education can help mitigate the effects of stress, anxiety, and trauma, and use SEL to promote greater well-being,” Dohrer said. “The focus is on how social awareness and relationship-building can transform teaching and learning, and how self-awareness and self-management can be a mechanism for growth and change.”

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 9/29/22