On October 25, 2017, TransformEd co-hosted Social-Emotional Learning (SEL): A Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Opportunity with the Center for the Collaborative Classroom (CCC). The summit, held in Westborough, Mass., brought together nearly 200 educators throughout the state to highlight the importance of teaching, leading, and learning about SEL.
One highlight was the rich panel discussion, moderated by Virginia B. Edwards, former CEO of Editorial Projects in Education and Editor-in-Chief of Education Week, that covered a variety of SEL-related topics. Panelists discussed networked improvement communities (NICs) that enable the sharing and scaling of best practices in SEL, the current research on validity and reliability of SEL measures, and the next generation of social-emotional skill assessment and development. The panel included Sara Krachman, Executive Director of TransformEd, Chad d’Entremont, Executive Director of the Rennie Center, Laura Mendes, Director of Literacy for the Springfield Public School District, and Rebecca Shor, Director of the Systems for Student Success Office in the Massachusetts’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The event also featured two keynote speakers, Richard Fournier and Peter Brunn, from TransformEd and CCC respectively, as well as participation from the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy (the Rennie Center).
The day ended with conversations and breakout sessions focused primarily on the ways in which practitioners can take the lead in building an educational environment that embraces SEL while also implementing evidence-backed strategies in their schools. TransformEd, for example, held a breakout session on how to use learning cycles—based on the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method—for systematically incorporating a data-informed approach to SEL in the classroom. (You can learn more about this approach by reading one of our recent blog posts.)