That is the philosophy statement behind the SEL Initiative at Erikson Institute.
We conduct professional development with teachers and school staff, direct service with children and parents, and research to help schools become more compassionate and productive places, from top to bottom. We specialize in using whole-child development principles, brain science, and culturally-responsive and trauma-sensitive lenses to infuse SEL and mindfulness strategies as a natural part of the school day rather than an “add-on.”
Classrooms and schools are incredibly complex environments where children and adults alike are constantly learning – not just about reading and math – but also about relationships. Regardless of where a school is located or the community influences that a child experiences, children can’t isolate their academic brain and leave their emotional brain behind.
When these critical skills are prioritized in schools, adults and children learn that they matter, that they care and are cared about, and that they can overcome challenges.
(Mindfulness-Based SEL Curriculum)
What does high-quality SEL in the early years look like?
The SEL Initiative conducts research along two main lines: