What does the evidence say? SEL Programming in Haiti
What does the evidence say?
Social emotional skills go by many names: life skills, 21st century skills, non-cognitive skills, transferable skills…. Whatever the name, however, social emotional learning (SEL) encompasses a variety of competencies and skills which influence relationships, behavior, motivation, and cognition; related skills permeate all aspects of a child’s life and fall into cognitive, social, and emotional categories.
SEL is crucial for children’s healthy development and wellbeing, and this is evidenced in a variety of significant benefits of SEL. Benefits of SEL include:
- Improved academic performance by an 11 percentage-point gain (Durlak et al., 2011)
- Boost positive attitudes (Durlak et al., 2011)
- Cultivate positive social behaviors (Durlak et al., 2011)
- Foster long-term wellbeing (Taylor et al., 2017)
- Decrease conduct problems (Durlak et al., 2011)
- Lower emotional distress (Durlak et al., 2011)
- Diminish the likelihood of involvement with police before adulthood (Jones et al., 2015)
- Mitigate risk of living in or being on a waiting list for public housing (Jones et al., 2015)
Moreover, there is a significant economic argument for taking an SEL approach to teaching; for every $1 invested in SEL programming, society reaps an $11 return on investment (Belfield, 2015).
How does the GC-DWC use this evidence?
Given the diversity of potent impacts of SEL programming, GC-DWC-Haiti recognized a need to facilitate its inclusion in educational settings with the adoption of a framework tailored for the Haitian context. Therefore, in collaboration with Haitian educators, historians, academics, and practitioners, the GC-DWC developed an SEL framework specifically for the Haitian context: Vision of the Haitian Child: Social Emotional Framework.
The framework, which divides SEL skills into three compartments (relational strength, sense of self, and self-direction) with multiple subcompartments, provides an overview of key elements of social and emotional learning relevant for the Haitian socio-cultural and historical contexts. Additionally, it offers guidelines and strategies for the use of these ideas, particularly for educational institutions and actors.
The Vision of the Haitian Child is foundational for the development and adoption of a whole child approach within Haitian classrooms with a particular focus on fostering students’ SEL. The framework has influenced many aspects of the Haitian education system: curriculum development, school climate interventions, culture training for school leaders and educators, SEL professional development, Sek Matine (SEL Morning Meeting) activities, SEL curriculum for teachers, and SEL-aligned books and lessons.
What is our impact?
In 2019, the endline results from ISELA and DESSA-mini assessments showed statistically significant changes across eight schools who participated in the SEL pilot program in the Nord and Artibonite departments. SEL categories and competencies with the largest gains from baseline to endline were self-management, self-awareness, relationships, and social awareness.
What tools and resources do we have?
Explore GC-DWC’s SEL programming further with the following resources:
- The Vision of the Haitian Child framework
- Ana ak Tiga Children’s Books
- Teacher Guide and Videos
- Sèk Matine Resources