Hot Topic - What Would Be the Most Effective Argument We Could Use to Convince Ministers of Education to Promote Social and Emotional Learning?

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Dec 19, 2016
by Yeji Park
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Hot Topic - What Would Be the Most Effective Argument We Could Use to Convince Ministers of Education to Promote Social and Emotional Learning?

Education session participants give their opinions on what makes the most effective political argument for SEL  Education session participants give their opinions on what makes the most effective political argument for SEL

“What governments like is evidence. You need to have evidence showing that social and emotional skills in children can have an impact on school achievement and also building a more just society. But we need to show them how as well. We need to provide them with compelling examples of how we can do it, from which they can be inspired, and can try to integrate into their own system.” 
Aline Villette
Senior Initiatives Manger, LEGO Foundation, France

“The main way to convince a minister is to think about what parents and teachers really care about. It is obviously the academic success of children, but it is also about their wellbeing. Many examples of bullying, cyberbullying or, in extreme cases, suicide, have been shown the lack of wellbeing among students these days. Sharing these indicators would help to show them why SEL is an important topic.”
Artur Taevere
Founder and CEO, Beyond, Estonia

“I don’t think there is a single answer to the question, as it really depends on the context. The arguments I would use in a high-income country would be very different from the ones I would use in a low-income country or for education in emergencies. So it depends on the context, on the education system and place – whether you go for the economic argument, whether you go for the argument that is about foundational skill for enabling cognitive learning or a holistic child development.”
Gerhard Pulfer
Grant Manager, Porticus, Austria

“First of all, SEL helps, besides the individual, to build empathy between people and cultures, which will lead to social cohesion and interculturalism. Secondly, it will be very cost-effective on the budget, because less money will be spent on remediation and we will spend very little money on prevention. Finally, we need quality education that is more relevant to today’s society. These could be three main arguments why we need to promote social and emotional learning.”
Carmel Cefai
Director, Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta, Malta

“When we talk to policy makers about SEL, there are three important aspects to the argument. First, SEL correlates strongly with employability skills. A range of studies shows the importance employers attach to this kind of skillset alongside traditional subject knowledge. The second argument relates to a country’s capacity to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Research shows that the population needs SEL skills to better deal with the challenges that SDGs are meant to mitigate. The final argument relates to education attainment. The impact SEL can have on student wellbeing and confidence correlates directly with it.”
Dominic Regester
Senior Schools Adviser, British Council, UK

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The Salzburg Global Session Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills is part of the Salzburg Global series Education for Tomorrow's World, hosted partnership with ETS. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/566