Exploring Current Events with a SEL Lens

Posted by Mary Hendra on November 1, 2018

“I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.” ― Elie Wiesel

Last week, we held our second of three webinars in our fall series with Listenwise, this one focused on exploring current events with an attention to Social-Emotional Learning. With the violence that has happened since then, most visibly in Kentucky and Pittsburgh, I find myself this week turning to the words of Elie Wiesel.

“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.” ― Elie Wiesel

When we turn over our classes to consider current events, we can help our students shift the center of their universe to others. As noted in the current event teaching idea put up to help teachers and students consider the mass shooting in Pittsburgh, "Even as we mourn, we also have to help our students process the week’s events within a safe and supportive learning community. Students need to share their reactions and hear those of their classmates, and with our guidance explore difficult questions about the past, present, and future. If we don’t make time to talk about these events, we risk normalizing them."

Image courtesy of the CASEL website (casel.org)These discussions, the active seeking of others' experiences and perspectives, is one element of building our students' social-emotional skills, skills which can strengthen their resiliency in the face of challenges large and small.  Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Here's our webinar, with links below for the resources mentioned within it.

 

 

Facing History resources mentioned in the webinar:

 

Listenwise stories on immigration:

 

Additional Listenwise stories that highlight SEL

 

Not able to participate live in the webinar but want to join the discussion about current events with an SEL lens? Share your comment or question in response to this webinar below!

Join us for our final webinar in this series with Listenwise, which will focus on our core case study, The Holocaust and Human Behavior:

November 28th 4:30 PST/7:30 EST -- Pairing Listenwise and Facing History and Ourselves Resources

Register for webinar

Topics: SEL, current events

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