Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time

September 27, 2018

kids playing with chalkWe'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."


    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
Directions to NIOST

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