Report

Preparing Youth to Thrive: Methodology and Findings from the SEL Challenge

By Charles Smith, Gina McGovern, Stephen C. Peck, Reed Larson, Leanne Roy from David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

The SEL Challenge Technical Report highlights the methodology and findings of the two year study.

The SEL Challenge was designed in pursuit of two ambitious goals: to identify promising practices for building SEL skills with vulnerable adolescents, and to develop technical supports for use of these SEL practices at scale in thousands of OST settings. The study design included a qualitative methodology, expert practitioners, and performance studies at each of eight exemplary programs. The products of the Challenge – standards for SEL practice and the suite of SEL performance measures – are designed to help OST programs focus deeply on SEL practice, assess their strengths, and improve the quality and effectiveness of their services using a lower stakes continuous improvement approach.

By focusing systematically at a granular level of adult and youth behavior, the Challenge content supports use in practice-oriented settings and systems—youth programs, school day classrooms, mentorships, residential treatment, apprenticeships, workplace, families—where the qualities of adult-youth interaction and learning are a primary concern. We hope that local policy makers and funders will use the Challenge as a template for identifying the exemplary SEL services already available in their communities and make sure that they are adequately recognized, resourced, and replicated.

The promising practices are featured in a Field Guide, Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices for Social Emotional Learning. The Technical Report, Preparing Youth to Thrive: Methodology and Findings from the SEL Challenge, describes how the partnership did the work of the Challenge and what we learned as a result.

Download the Executive Summary - A one page overview of the report.

Download the Research Brief - Highlights from the Technical Report, including key findings and discussion.

Download the full Technical Report - Research paper describing the SEL Challenge methodology, findings and discussion.

Technical Report Chapter by Chapter Guide - An introduction and guide to efficient use of the report and other Challenge materials.

Technical Report Research Measures - Download a zipfile of the codebooks, permission forms and measures in the righthand column of the page.

Further Reading

Strengths Builder

Assessing Youth SEL Skills

From Staff, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

Strengths Builder

Assessing Your SEL Curriculum Design

From Staff, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

Strengths Builder

Assessing your SEL Practices

From Staff, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

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