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  • Katie Jenaway

How Social - Emotional Learning (SEL) Aids in Learning Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented disruptions to our educational systems. Learning loss has had an increased impact on teachers, students, and parents.

Learning Loss: Any specific or general loss of knowledge and skills or to reversals in academic progress, most commonly due to extended gaps or discontinuities in a student’s education.

Students who were already behind academically before the pandemic are expected to endure the biggest challenges when they return to in-person instruction, because this crisis has only amplified and worsened inequities in our systems. New research reports that students have lost as much as 12-14 months of learning, which exacerbate achievement gaps by 15 to 20 percent.

Previous research shows that less access to high-quality education leads to lower entrance into college and lower paying jobs which often don’t include paid sick leave. It is more important than ever to support students socially, emotionally, cognitively and developmentally.

The Whole Child: An approach that is defined by policies, practices, and relationships that ensure that each child, in each school, in each community, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged

We prioritize working with economically disadvantaged students, and in communities that have not historically had access to the arts, because we know we are filling in a critical gap and developing students’ social and emotional skills.

As they return to school to fall, educators are looking to restructure their systems to support students through the lens of the whole child.

The Unscripted Project curriculum aids in learning recovery by supporting students in developing social emotional skills which lay the fundamentals for a successful return to school, academically and beyond.

After completing the Unscripted core program:

  • students feel like they can better understand their own emotions and the emotions of others, which leads to increased empathy and understanding with other students, teachers, and staff

  • students also feel like they have become a better communicator, which allows them to work better with their fellow students and teachers

  • students’ social anxiety decreases, and they feel more confident participating in class, which leads to better quality interactions with other students, teachers, and staff, as well as better academic performance. With decreased social anxiety, students also feel more comfortable with their peers, which allows them to develop stronger relationships with their peers, which leads to less loneliness and depression.

  • students’ social self-efficacy increases, which helps them to relay to others what they do and do not understand, and teachers and staff can better understand how they can help them when they are struggling.

All of these social-emotional and interpersonal skills are critical to a successful experience in school and beyond.

With an unprecedented amount of learning loss over the last year, educators are looking for new and creative ways to support their students as a whole person and are learning how critical developing students’ social and emotional skills are in their future academic success. The Unscripted Project is excited to continue to support educators with our programs in the upcoming academic year.


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