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Engaging in Equitable SEL: How Researchers and Practitioners Can Work Together to Expand Learning in Out-of-School Time

Jessy Newman
Published: 25 November 2021
 by  Emerald

Abstract: Many youth-serving organizations refer to social and emotional learning (SEL) as a process through which adults and young people develop the critical knowledge and skills one needs to be successful in school, work, and personal life (e.g., Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning – CASEL, 2020). SEL is a learning process and – as evidence from the science of learning and development would suggest – one that happens everywhere, both in and out of school. The science also suggests that young people and adults learn best in safe and supportive environments that are identity-safe and filled with developmentally rich relationships (Science of Learning and Development Alliance, n.d.). These finds highlight the importance of meaningful, intentional, and inclusive SEL practice that is grounded in equity and cultural competence. This has historically been the approach out-of-school time (OST) educators have taken to expanding learning opportunities for young people and these practices continue to evolve as the OST field moves toward more intentional SEL practice. OST practitioners are looking to the evidence, many of whom are doing so by partnering with researchers to reexamine and bolster their SEL practices. In this chapter, we explore why and how researcher–practitioner partnerships can foster equitable SEL in OST.
Keywords: After-school / Expanded learning / Out-of-school time / Equity / Research–practice partnerships / Social and emotional learning

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