Prof. David Osher
American Institutes for Research, USA
|Title: Schools play a key role in fostering well-being and resilience|
Schools play a key role in fostering well-being and resilience. This, in turn, affects academic achievement. Although the school’s role is important for all students, it is particularly important for students who have experienced adversity, particularly trauma, which may compromise the capacity of the student to develop healthy relationships and manage emotions and behavior. The school’s role particularly important for students who struggle with disability, discrimination, cultural marginalization, and community risk factors. Schools can buffer risk as well as support the development of positive psychological attributes. However, schools may also function as an added risk factor, creating or exacerbating problems in youth development as well as in learning. This talk will draw upon research done on 5 continents that shows how schools can become safe, supportive, and academically successful settings.
David Osheris Vice President and Institute Fellowat the American Institutes for Research, an eminent not-for-profit research organization. Osher is an expert on conditions for learning and school climate, social and emotional learning, child and youth development, violence prevention, school safety, supportive school discipline, cultural competence, family engagement, collaboration, mental health services and implementation science. He has led impact and qualitative evaluations of initiatives and programs, systematic reviews, expert panels as well as projects that have developed 4 major surveys and supported schools, districts, and states promote conditions for learning, including school safety and to address disciplinary disparities. Osher is Principal Investigatorof The National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments,The National Resource Center on Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, andThe National Evaluation and theTechnical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk. He is or was also Principal Investigator of experimental, quasi-experimental, and qualitative research studies that examine whole child, youth development, and social and emotional learning programs at a school and district level both in the U.S. and internationally. These studies include the global evaluation of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Schools, the evaluation of the 8-District Collaborating Districts Initiative, which focuses on district-wide social and emotional learning efforts, a state-wide youth development program in Alaska, and multiple evidenced based social and emotional learning programs. Osher, who consults with ministries, NGOs, educators, districts, schools, and human service agencies across the world,is leading the development of a translational research agenda on school climate and social and emotional learning as well as research agendas in the U.S. and South Africa on schools’ roles in children’s development. He is currently leading a mapping of whole child initiatives in Western Europe and North America; a project to identify the core competencies, indicators of healthy social and emotional competence;and research and synthetic work to support a science of learning and human development. Osher, who has done research or consulted in 26 countries, serves on numerous expert panels and editorial boards and has authored or co-authored over 410 books, monographs, chapters, articles, and reports including The Science of Learning and Development and Safe, Supportive and Successful Schools Step by Step. He is the lead author of two books, which will be released in 2018: Building Safe, Supportive and Engaging Schools (Harvard Education Press) and Keeping Students Safe and Helping Them Thrive: A Collaborative Handbook for Education (Praeger).Osher received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. from Columbia University, and has served as dean and taught at a liberal arts college and two professional schools of human services.