Learning is both an individual and social process. Learning depends on the social and emotional competencies of educators and students as well as upon the social and emotional conditions for learning, development, and performance. Although these factors are important for all learners, they are particularly important for those who have experienced trauma or other adversity. And while there are many individual pathways to excellence, they are all mediated by social and emotional skills, and moderated by those emotionally-related aspects of school climate that are closest to learning. Social and emotional skills include the ability to understand and manage attention, focus, and emotion as well as the ability to address diversity and be a productive group member. Salient conditions for learning include feeling physically and emotionally safe, connected and supported and engaged and challenged. This talk will synthesize relevant research and provide examples from practice and assessment.
Dr David Osher is Vice President and Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research. He is an expert on social and emotional learning, conditions for learning and other aspects of school climate, child and youth development, supportive school discipline, collaboration, mental health services, etc. Dr Osher is the Principal Investigator of The National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, The National Resource Center on Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, and The National Evaluation and the Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk. He is also the Principal Investigator of experimental and qualitative research studies that examine whole child, youth development, and social and emotional learning programs at a school and district level both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr Osher has worked in 26 countries, serves on numerous expert panels and editorial boards and has authored or co-authored over 425 books, monographs, chapters, articles, and reports.