Susan Spilman

Susan Spilman

St. Petersburg, United States

A psychologist by training, I am passionate about helping children release any limitations to learning and be the most creative, happy child they can be.

I am passionate about helping young children especially be able to release problem feelings and start focusing on how they would like to feel, and what all is possible for them.

It is important to involve the teachers, parents and school system in this of course. How can adults listen to what the child is saying/feeling and help them move beyond those experiences into a more expansive way of being.

Although this sounds like a big project, it can be accomplished with skilled facilitators using, primarily, play therapy approaches. Many of these are based on the concept of Emotional Intelligence and in particular the adaptation of this into Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

I use the Magical U game as a way to facilitate this for both children and adults.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

I am impressed with HundrED's commitment to a similar view of Holistic Education and would love to be part of this!

How can education support students to flourish?

We have to focus on the emotional components of education and integrate these with the more intellectual ones. has a comprehensive and simple way to approach this. What is sometimes missing is a way to get a major transformation to more integrated learning rather than simply identifying feelings for example. This is best accomplished by involving the school system.

What role does innovation play in education change?

One would hope a big role but-----sometimes the bureaucracy gets in the way of innovation. So it is important to engage the powers that be to pilot projects and try new approaches. My experience is that teachers often are eager for new approaches but feel hampered by too much work and stress and little support from administrators.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

I am involved in the Magical U game which helps children identify and release problem feelings and identify how they would life to feel. And to move forward with hope about being more successful. I am impressed by the group that is training young men in India to have jobs and be productive.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

The one I am most familiar with is led by Nancy Milanoi in Kenya---helping girls both reject sexual mutilation and to thrive as they grow up, feeling a sense of being powerful. This is a big issue that needs to be addressed in much of the world and Nancy is very successful in her community.