An integral part of the scholar’s experience with Action Horizon Institute takes place prior to the launch of the first immersive. During the application and scholarship process, meeting with mentors, getting scared that this is a big waste of time, putting in effort to develop a personalized plan, and possibly getting uncomfortable or unable to communicate with the team.
AHI can only exist because of the relationships our core team has been cultivating for many years. Taking into account some of the youth coming through the program could be disconnected from the workforce and education system for various reasons it is possible they will have a difficult time jumping in headfirst. Rather than ignoring this potential occurrence we are preparing for it.
Knowing the important of social and emotional intelligence both in the workplace and everyday life only further solidifies our decision in integrating social and emotional curricular best practices from the thought leader on the topic, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
Fortunately, our program director, Andrea Dinan, is an expert in this specific niche of curriculum and program development. This enables AHI to continue the journey to becoming one of the most effective education institutions for enabling youth to be transformed by learning which then empowers the scholars to transform their surroundings. We already see it happening.
CASEL defines Social and Emotional Learning as such:
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and worker, and many risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying and dropping out) can be prevented or reduced when multiyear, integrated efforts are used to develop students’ social and emotional skills. This is best done through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom, and broad parent and community involvement in program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
CASEL has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective and behavioral competencies. The definitions of the five competency clusters for students are:
- Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
- Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
- Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
- Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
- Responsible decision making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
The CASEL website is an incredible resource as well as their downloadable versions of the guides. See below for the PDF from CASEL targeted at high schools implementing social and emotional learning programs:
CASEL Guide 2015
Click the image below to open up the PDF