There is a growing consensus among psychologists, educators, and the public at large that a more comprehensive vision of education is needed—one that includes an explicit focus on “educating the heart” and intentionally cultivates children’s social and emotional competencies and positive human qualities, including self-regulation, self-awareness, empathy, compassion, and altruism. This explicit and intentional focus on integrating educating the heart with educating the mind in school is necessary for the future of education and the world. Drawing from recent science, I will begin by discussing the importance of integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that focus on the cultivating children’s prosociality into education, and describe efforts that are taking place around the world to do so. I will then present selected findings from research my lab has conducted that evaluates the effects of SEL programs that incorporate mindful practices on children’s neural, behavioral, biological  and social development. I will conclude by posing some lingering questions that currently animate the field of SEL, including:  How do we scale up SEL programs and at the same time maintain program fidelity? How can we integrate SEL into teacher preparation and teacher education? What is the role of mindfulness and compassion training in such programs going forward? And, how do we determine which programs work for which individuals and under what conditions?  The presentation will end by offering some future directions for this field of study.

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, PhD

University of British Columbia

Convening Faculty

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is an applied developmental psychologist and a professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture area in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at … MORE

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