Who are you?
Dr. Hymel: I hold the Edith Lando Professorship in Social-Emotional Learning and have created a unique online resource for educators, the SEL Resource Finder. Our research and ongoing collaborations with schools have lead us to understand bullying as part of a larger issue for schools — the promotion of positive social and emotional development.
What problem are you solving?
Bullying is one of many behaviours, along with discrimination, intolerance, etc. that reflect the negative side of interpersonal relations. To address bullying effectively, we need to help students acquire positive interpersonal skills that encourage acceptance, peer support and caring for others. To this end, we have developed an online website, the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Resource Finder (www.selresources.com). Our goal in creating this website is to advance educational efforts to foster social and emotional learning and well-being in schools and community organizations. This online resource serves as a central hub that mobilizes existing knowledge of SEL and Mental Health in accessible ways. It also serves as a dynamic, interactive arena for the exchange of new and innovative strategies for integrating SEL and positive mental health into educational practice.
How does your idea contribute to society?
The SEL Resource Finder was developed as a “one-stop” for educators and anyone who works with children and youth to learn about how to foster social-emotional learning and mental well-being. It provides brief descriptions and links to over 400 resources including programs, lessons, books and videos which address bullying and school violence, which is aimed at promoting positive mental health in educational settings. As research continues to underscore the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL) and mental health for academic and life success, it becomes increasingly important to recognize the many different ways to promote SEL and to create safe, respectful, and supportive learning environments that maximize potential and optimize well-being in youth.
What do you need now?
We need to publicize this website that serves as a dynamic, interactive arena to advance educators’ efforts to foster social and emotional learning, mental health, and well-being in schools and community organizations. Media coverage would be very helpful.