Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time
September 27, 2018
We're excited about a new book on social and emotional learning (SEL) in out-of-school time -- and how NIOST tools have been shown to effectively assess youths' SEL skills.
Social and Emotional Learning in Out-Of-School Time: Foundations and Futures, edited by Elizabeth Devaney of the Children’s Institute, University of Rochester, and Deborah A. Moroney, American Institutes for Research, includes chapters from field leaders on what SEL means in a variety of out-of-school (OST) contexts, ways of aligning it with formal education, and how high quality youth development practice impacts SEL development. The contributors also share information about new trends and developments, and include explorations of foundational research, evidence of effective efforts, and practical implications, along with recommendations for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.
SEL is clearly important for youth development--but how can we quantify it to determine its impact? OST programs need valid and reliable measurement tools to assess youth outcomes in SEL competency areas.
In "Measuring Social and Emotional Learning with the Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO)" (2015), NIOST's Sasha Stavsky looked at how NIOST's SAYO tool, used in the OST field for over a decade, can measure many of the SEL competencies of interest to the OST field. She explored the alignment between SEL competencies in various frameworks with the youth outcome areas measured by the SAYO tools, and offered examples of how the tools were being used in the field for program improvement and to measure impact. "The SAYO tools offer measures of the key foundational SEL skills for the promotion of longer-term youth outcomes," she concluded. "The SAYO can help programs build and demonstrate their contributions to academic and other long-term goals for youth by helping programs stay focused on outcomes that are most appropriate and realistic to expect from participation in OST programs."