Our nation is at a turning point: We now understand that social, emotional and cognitive development underpins children's academic learning. This breakthrough understanding about how people learn is fueling a growing movement to educate children as whole people, with social and emotional as well as academic needs.
There is no question that I am a fan of out-of-school time (OST) systems — data-driven, coordinated community-level efforts to improve access to quality before and after school and summer learning experiences. Just check my track record to know I have helped incubate dozens of them across the country, both as part of The Wallace Foundation team as well as a Big Picture Approach consultant with the Forum for Youth Investment.
How can schools and youth development organizations better align to increase their communities' understanding of the importance of focusing on the whole learner? Broaden access to high-quality learning opportunities that support comprehensive development? Strengthen adult social and emotional learning practice?
Being disconnected, out of school and unemployed as a young person is potentially traumatic. These experiences can have lasting impacts on income, employability, health and well-being. The effects grow the longer a young person is disconnected. And the effects linger over time.
We have 40 years of evidence that shows us how learning happens but what’s next? How can students benefit from this knowledge? How can we continuously improve quality in learning settings to support social, emotional and academic development? In this brief video, the Forum for Youth Investment's CEO and co-founder Karen Pittman delves into these topics.
Much of the research on the fading "American Dream"-the expectation that children will grow up to earn more than their parents-has focused on the country's urban areas. However, as the nation's cultural, economic, and political divides have deepened, there has been accelerating interest in understanding how the 60 million people who live in rural America are confronting the challenges that come with climbing the income ladder.