European Assessment protocol for Children's SEL Skills

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Why the Consortium

A large number of countries are introducing reforms that explicitly use the European Key Competences framework as a reference point. Good progress has been made in adapting school curricula, but there is still much to be done to support teachers’ competence development, to update assessment methods, and to introduce new ways of organising learning in an innovative school environment. There is a major challenge to ensure that all learners benefit from innovative methodologies. The European Framework for Key Competences for Lifelong Learning identifies and defines as key competences necessary for personal fulfillment, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability in a knowledge society. Learning to learn, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, social, civic and cultural competences, there are the transversal key competences that this team has taken into account like an absolute “priority” in project definition (keycomp_en.pdf.).

Children studying in socio-emotional learning classrooms showed a better social knowledge and ability in solving problems in comparison with other children in the control classrooms. Teachers rated children from SEL classrooms as showing higher levels of self-control and emotion regulation and lower levels of anxious/withdrawn behaviours.

The major element of innovation in the SEL field, proposed by EAP_SEL team is the planning, realisation and implementation of the project website and assessment protocol for the measurement of social emotional maturity or social and emotional development. The aim is to develop an instrument that is easy to use and can enable cross-national comparisons to be made. This represents an innovative and add value to this project, strongly backed by this consortium, since it does not exist in all Europe. Ability to manage multi-lingual assessment protocol in the network, with availability of data at European level, are important for research and educational applications in all Europe. One reason why we regard the project as necessary is that the SEL field currently lacks adequate means to evaluate either outcomes (for the children) or processes (among both children and teachers). If we are successful in producing relevant instruments or protocols, and in disseminating these, this would be a major step forward.

The EAP_ SEL team looks at this project as a good opportunity of involving their teachers and students in an action potentially increasing their emotional and social competence, uniting the world of research with the world of the school, often divided. An important part of the EAP_SEL project added value is indeed realized through the participation of teachers from different European countries in the same practice carried out in at least 5 other European countries (Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden). In most of partner countries there are not good quality materials (in some of them no materials at all) to be used by teachers with their students, hence the decision of cooperating on this topic and submit a proposal.

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