Social-Emotional Learning Program


Browning’s program in Social-Emotional Learning provides a structure around which boys from Kindergarten through Form VI develop a deeper awareness of themselves and their relationships with others. Aligned with the school mission, the goals for Social-Emotional Learning embrace the growth in each boy of resilience, perseverance, understanding of himself, empathy for others, informed decision-making, healthy relationships, and social engagement. A multifaceted approach weaves together the focused efforts of homeroom teachers, advisors, counselors, health educators, ethical technology educators, and peer guidance.

The Advisory system connects each student to a faculty member who leads a group of six to eight students as their advocate and adult resource during their five years from Form II to Form VI. Our Peer Leadership group is a team of Form VI students who meet regularly with Form III students to discuss and advise the younger boys about the academic and social challenges ahead of them. Form IV students participate in the annual Frost Valley trip which brings together the sophomores from our peer single-sex schools – Brearley, Chapin, Collegiate, Nightingale-Bamford and Spence – for a retreat at the Frost Valley YMCA camp facility in the Catskills. During their three days in Frost Valley, students, led by peer leaders, attending faculty from all of the peer schools and outside facilitators, have the opportunity to talk about issues important to their social and academic lives. Organizations outside of Browning, such as FCD, Hallways and the Mount Sinai SAVI program, contribute their expertise to our SEL programming by meeting with the students of the Upper School to address issues such as sexuality, substance abuse and gender identity.

Form III: Life Skills
Meeting one to two times per week and primarily utilizing a discussion-based format, Life Skills provides students with an opportunity to express themselves, assists students in coping with difficult situations, educates students on health-related materials, teaches students how to make informed decisions, increases students’ self-knowledge and awareness, and helps to build self-esteem and confidence. The topics covered may include: goal setting; stress management; diverse perspectives; social media; health and wellness; drugs and alcohol; and healthy relationships.

Form IV: On Purposes
Living well requires that each of us work toward articulating a meaningful personal narrative (“Who am I?”) and consider the ways in which we might pursue a purposeful life (“How can I flourish?”) within the narrative that we prefer, while recognizing that our self-understanding is always defined in dialogue with the stories and values others may want to encourage in us.  Taught by the Head of School, this course provides a series of cross-disciplinary texts, experiences, and provocations that encourage reflection on how and why we create our personal narratives and determine what confers meaning, purpose, and significance in one’s life, work, and relationships.