Brief

The Relationship Between Youth Program Quality and Social & Emotional Learning

By Margo Herman & Dale Blyth from University of Minnesota | Extension

The 2013-2016 cycle of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation’s Howland Family Endowment for Youth Leadership Development is dedicated to understanding social and emotional learning and its contribution to closing the achievement and opportunity gaps. This series of issue briefs, funded in part by Youthprise, is designed to help people understand, connect and champion social and emotional learning in a variety of settings and from a variety of perspectives.


The Relationship Between Youth Program Quality and Social & Emotional Learning

A high-quality youth program provides the setting and experiences conducive to developing many positive outcomes, including positive social and emotional skills and beliefs. Efforts to improve youth program quality are essentially about creating better processes and conditions for learning to occur. The extent to which that learning is intentionally focused on social and emotional skills and beliefs can vary widely. Program staff plays a key role in cultivating the right environment and processes for SEL skills and beliefs to grow. This brief seeks to examine the relationship between quality improvement practices and improved efforts around program design to support the development of social and emotional skills.

While practices reflected in high quality program settings at the point of service are highly compatible with social and emotional learning (SEL), whether these practices alone are enough to lead to measurable social and emotional skills and beliefs as outcomes is a different question. The complementary and highly compatible nature of these two efforts in out-of-school (OST) programs is one of the primary reasons that OST opportunities are increasingly called upon to help build the critical social and emotional skills and beliefs needed for success in learning and life.

View the full document and corresponding resources here


University of Minnesota | Extension

Minnesota 4-H Foundation Howland Family Endowment for Youth Leadership Development

Further Reading

Article

Why Social Emotional Learning is Essential for Students

From Roger Weissberg, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Strengths Builder

Assessing Your SEL Curriculum Design

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

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