Dr. William N. Thomas IV, professorial lecturer in the School of Education, was on the faculty of speakers at the inaugural Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Summer Institute at Harvard University. With the theme Integrating SEL to Create Supportive and Positive School Communities, the event was facilitated by SEL School Consulting in partnership with Harvard Graduate School of Education and sponsored by Second Step, Committee for Children, Panorama Education, and School Climate Consulting Services. The institute was designed to support educators designing a district-wide and school-based SEL roadmap based on current research frameworks including the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
Thomas presented on the topic of “Flux Pedagogy,” a concept in the book Flux Leadership that included an article Thomas authored about educator self-care. He facilitated three sessions:
- An Introduction to Flux Pedagogy: Building Theory with Educational Leaders during the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Flux Pedagogy Session I: How Check-ins with former students can give motivational support for Educator Self-care
- Flux Pedagogy Session II: Lessons Learned from Student Voices
In his presentations Thomas collaborated with educators looking to develop authentic SEL cultures in their education spaces from school districts in Massachusetts and urban school districts in the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. He shared the Sankofian Methodology-based analysis of interviews he conducted with former students and how the students have impacted his self-motivation and self-care.
The 3-day institute included distinguished scholar-practitioner faculty in the SEL field including the keynote speaker Dr. Dena Simmons, educator, activist and founder of LiberatED; Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuels, president and CEO of CASEL; Brandan Frame, director of social emotional learning for The Urban Assembly and founder of The Black Man Can, Inc.; and Dr. Pat Charlemagne, president of Stoked Mentoring Inc.