2017: Social and emotional learning – from evidence to action presented by Professor Helen Cahill
The 2017 oration was presented by Professor Helen Cahill, Director of the Youth Research Centre, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Professor Cahill leads research and teaching in the area of child and youth wellbeing, specializing in approaches to addressing social health issues relating to gender, mental health and sexuality education. Her body of work includes transformative education programs developed for a range of United Nations agencies working within 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and education systems across Australia. She is the lead author of over 30 education programs designed to advance student wellbeing in the areas of gender rights, sexuality, social and emotional learning, violence prevention, alcohol education, grief education and youth participation. Her 70 academic publications span the disciplines of health and education. Her recent works include the Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships teaching and learnings resources published by the Department of Education Victoria, developed for use with students from Foundation to Year 12.
The title of the 2017 oration was:
“Social and emotional learning – from evidence to action”
Schools are a key setting through which to build the personal and social capabilities. The OECD defines social and relational skills as the 21st Century skills which are key for success in life and employment. Research demonstrates that social and emotional learning programs can lead to improved academic outcomes and reduced rates of bullying, disengagement, depression and anxiety. The presentation focused on the ways that evidence-informed approaches to social and emotional learning can inform best practice in pedagogy, with emphasis on collaborative learning, relationship-building and metacognitive engagement.