Building Community through Shared Spaces and Intention

  • Maureen P. Hall University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • Christine M. Panarese Boston Public Schools
Keywords: Social Emotional Learning (SEL), democratic professionalism, mindfulness, literacy, social justice

Abstract

Present-day educational approaches in higher education and K-12 privilege only cognitive gains from students, who are sometimes only seen as test scores, while neglecting the development of the whole human being. This article documents three unique Building Community events at a public university in the northeast, which were designed to embrace the full development of human potential. These events were created to offer novel approaches to education, highlighting and operationalizing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) through mindfulness, literacy, and social justice. The documentation is two-fold: 1) to provide descriptions of each of the three events and the connections between and among Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and mindfulness, literacy and diversity, and 2) to provide an analysis of feedback data and a descriptive framework that makes clear the processes and theories underpinning the events, all of which may provide a beginning roadmap for others to replicate this important work. Qualitative findings suggest that the integration of SEL into classroom theory and practice may be one route to improving and humanizing education.

Author Biographies

Maureen P. Hall, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Dr. Maureen P. Hall is a Professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. As a teacher educator, her work bridges literacy, mindfulness, and service learning. Her most recent work involves mindful literacy, which combines literacy with mindfulness and with Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Her first book, Transforming Literacy (2011) was written with Dr. Robert P. Waxler. She also has a forthcoming book, Writing from the Inside (Equinox), which will be published in 2017.

Christine M. Panarese, Boston Public Schools

Dr. Christine Panarese is the Assistant Director for Special Education for Boston Public Schools and an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Panarese is an active practitioner and researcher in the field of Social Emotional Learning. She has received several grants for urban teacher professional development in the area of SEL. She has also developed curriculum that embeds the concepts of SEL for improving the teaching and learning of students with disabilities.

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Published
2016-11-16