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How to increase intentionality in fostering Social and Emotional Learning

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This issue brief, published on the University of Minnesota extension website in February 2015, highlights the importance of intentionality in any program aiming to achieve social and emotional learning outcomes. It provides strategies for practitioners, and organizations to use in intentionally creating environments and experiences towards the purpose of fostering SEL.

The strategies described here do not replace, but rather, compliment existing SEL program structures and frameworks, and focus, not just on the content taught, but on increasing the intentionality of fostering SEL through everyday experiences and environments. Strategies proposed includes (1) equipping staff with the knowledge and opportunities to practice SEL, (2) creating everyday learning environments, (3) designing impactful learning experiences (using SAFE features in program activities—Sequenced, Active, Focused, and Explicit) and finally (4) using data for improvement.

A short assessment tool is also provided for practitioners to assess their readiness to increase SEL intentionality, using three dimensions of Attention, Action and Assessment.

Citation: Blyth, D., Olson, B. & Walker, K. (2015) Intentional Practices to Support Social & Emotional Learning. Retrieved June 24, 2015, from