Recommendations for Incorporation of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Residential Environmental Learning Centers (RELCS)
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
MetadataShow full item record
Social emotional learning (SEL) is a movement in the United States’ public education system focused on teaching students intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Social emotional learning provides students with the tools to understand themselves and others to ultimately achieve personal success and well-being throughout their lives. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction created social emotional learning guidelines called Standards of the Heart and designated them a “Characteristic of Successful Schools.” This project focused on uncovering the nature of the relationship between Wisconsin residential environmental learning centers (RELCs) and social emotional learning to create a set of recommendations for RELCs to incorporate SEL into their programming. An electronic survey assessed the awareness, interest, and experience of Wisconsin RELCs with SEL. Interviews with four RELC administrators revealed specific practices that RELCs use to incorporate SEL. The data collected, along with a literature review, created the framework for the recommendations. Research revealed that RELCs already provide an ideal supportive learning environment for SEL and offer SEL opportunities throughout their curriculum. Educators are important individuals in the implementation of SEL at RELCs, but they also present challenges for successful implementation of SEL. Through training educators about SEL and providing them with activities and processing tools to address SEL, RELCs can combat these challenges. RELCs can also create SEL objectives and forms of assessment to measure SEL. Incorporating more social emotional learning opportunities into programming could be a tool to improve RELC programming and help strengthen the partnership between schools and RELCs.