Richard Davidson, Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison
Educating for Wellbeing (EW)
Why did you create this innovation?
Early childhood is a critical moment to cultivate children’s SEC, especially for those living in poverty and with delayed socio-emotional development. This hinges on educators’ own SEC and well-being; an adult who models and teaches these skills can promote a nurturing learning environment and the development of children’s SEC, which serve as protective factors for children now and in the future.
How does your innovation work in practice?
EW, AtentaMente’s proprietary curriculum, consists of three components.
1) A rigorous professional development program that uses a blended learning approach - synchronous sessions, a self-paced online course and a mobile app - to train educators to understand and practice SEC in their lives and classrooms and improve their own well-being.
2) An SEL curriculum for students, which embeds both explicit instruction and the practice of targeted skills into daily activities.
3) Leadership training that builds local capacity to ensure culturally and contextually relevant SEL implementation that enacts long-term systemic change.
EW has proven effective in improving outcomes in both educators and students. Results from pilot studies show positive changes in teachers’ SEC, stress and burnout, as well as improved students’ socio-emotional outcomes. RCTs conducted by the World Bank and the Center for Healthy Minds will publish results estimating the impact of EW in the following months.
How has it been spreading?
EW has significantly increased its reach. In 2018 it's first cohort comprised 1,000 school principals across seven states in Mexico. By the end of 2022, EW will have trained 15,320 preschool and lower elementary educators, with a total estimated impact on 403,250 students across 11 states.
EW has strengthened its capacity to scale the program; the number of instructors certified to implement the program has tripled in the last four years from 60 to 180.
In the next 2-3 years, EW aims to reach 50,000+ pre-primary school educators across Mexico, establish a core group of 50 leaders in each state’s educational system to ensure SEL sustainability, and join partnerships to boost EW through blended techologies into reaching the holistic network of adults supporting children ages 1 through 6.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
We’re always looking for partners to expand and fund our programs in Mexico and the world.
Interested in adapting EW to fit the needs of your specific context? Email our Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to working with you in supporting more educators to cultivate their wellbeing, promote nurturing learning environments for students and embed SEL within their education system.
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