Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Social and emotional learning teaches children to recognize and understand their emotions, feel empathy, make decisions, and build and maintain relationships. Research clearly shows that SEL programs improve mental health, social skills and academic achievement. (Child Development, Volume 88, Issue 4, July/August 2017, Pages 1156–1171).
In 2014, CR created the Resilience Initiative as a direct response to our research confirming that CR children were experiencing high rates of stress. According to our research, conducted in partnership with the University of Delaware, 71% of participating children had been exposed to violence and exhibited at least one symptom of PTSD. More worrisome, 8% were at risk for self-harm(1). Children surveyed reported exposure to domestic violence and deaths from traffic accidents and suicide(2). It is likely that many students had also experienced violence in the classroom(3). To the best of our knowledge, we are the only organization in India, to have collected psychological assessments of Indian primary school children not involved in a natural disaster.
The Resilience Initiative combines social and emotional learning (SEL), meditation practices, and focus skills to create a positive learning environment and to improve the academic success of its students. Our research confirms that students who participated in the Initiative reported fewer PTSD symptoms and less severity of symptoms.
Our program includes daily sharing circles, meditation, CR Superkids, and sessions on topics such as emotions, controlling anger, dealing with domestic violence and friendship. CR incorporates these practices into all of its academic programs.
CR Classroom Practices:
Create an intentionally inviting classroom by building positive relationships between teachers and students;
Students know that “each” student matters and contributes to the class;
Students understand that mistakes are opportunities for learning and not something to fear;
Students believe that success comes from hard work and persistence rather than innate ability, and we expect everyone in our programs to be successful.
(1) These results underreport the incidence of exposure to violence as the questionnaire did not ask about incidents of physical punishment at home or at school.
(2) Shadowen, Noel. “Communities Rising Assessment.” University of Delaware: 2013, 2014, and 2015.
(3) India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development reported in 2007 that 65% of Indian children had experienced being beaten in school and 80% had experienced verbal degradation or discriminatory verbal abuse.