Cultivating Student Leaders through Social Emotional Learning

Recent literature in inclusive leadership education has emphasized the need for using insights from Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to cultivate empathetic, caring, empowered, and culturally-aware student leaders. But, as the Harvard Graduate School of Education EASEL Lab notes, implementing SEL in our teaching practice can be confusing. “SEL” is used as an umbrella term for both “non-cognitive skills” (i.e., “non-academic” skills that individuals need to build relationships, process information effectively, set goals, and manage emotions) and for various subfields rooted in these skills (e.g., bullying prevention, civic and character education, social skills training, soft skills training, 21st century skills, etc.). Many teachers curious about SEL have trouble knowing where to start.

This seminar is a practical, hands-on introduction to the practice of SEL-inspired leadership education. Dr. Dutmer will show how we can use the EASEL Lab “Explore SEL” tool to help us focus on what SEL model best fits our unique pedagogical needs, and how various SEL models compare and contrast. He will then show how he has implemented certain SEL methods in his Ethics courses, providing examples of specific activities and classroom practices that help students recognize, reflect on, constructively express, and regulate their emotions as they enter and inhabit the classroom space. This seminar will provide teachers with tools to foster an inclusive, empowering space for all students to learn and practice empathetic leadership.