Press Releases

Teachers the World Over Face the Same Issues

Social-emotional skills prepare all students for school, life

Seattle – Psychologists, researchers and educators from around the globe will gather in Seattle early next week to discuss the importance of teaching social-emotional skills to children of all cultures. The meeting will be hosted by nonprofit Committee for Children, who developed the Second Step program over 20 years ago. The program, which teaches students such skills as empathy, emotion management, and problem solving, remains the most widely used social-emotional learning curriculum in the world.

Dr. Suzi Mizrahi, a developmental psychologist and Second Step coordinator in Istanbul, Turkey, will be among the educators at the meeting. Dr. Mizrahi has seen positive effects on Turkish students who have been taught social-emotional skills with the Second Step program. “Children know how to deal with their own conflicts instead of asking the teacher. They know how to solve their problems now. Their academic success also increased because now they can understand the concepts better because they listen more,” says Dr. Mizrahi.

A highlight of the meeting will be an event at the Seattle Aquarium, where noted biologist Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, will speak about how the latest brain research highlights the importance of teaching social-emotional skills. Meeting attendees will also discuss the latest educational research trends and observe Second Step lessons being taught in local schools.

“Educators and researchers from around the world confirm that all students benefit from social-emotional learning, regardless of culture or language. As diverse as our countries are, our schools face very similar issues. As we gather, we explore such questions as, how can we measure improved academic performance through social-emotional learning? How do we engage parents in developing children’s social skills? How do we reduce bullying in our schools?” says Joan Cole Duffell, Committee for Children’s executive director. “We are honored by the fact that these education leaders have chosen the Second Step program to address those issues.”