Kimberly Schonert-Reichl

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl assumed the position of Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership in September 2015. She is the Principal Investigator of the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). She is a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. She began her professional career first as a middle school teacher and then as a high school teacher for adolescents identified as “at risk.”

For more than 20 years, Kim’s research has focused on the social and emotional learning (SEL) and development of children and adolescents with a particular emphasis on identifying the processes and mechanisms that foster children’s positive human qualities such as empathy, altruism, and resiliency. Kim has investigated the effectiveness of classroom-based universal SEL programs—including the Roots of Empathy and MindUp, a program that integrates social and emotional learning and mindfulness-based education. She is currently conducting a scan of the amount and type of training that pre-service teacher education students receive related to SEL in the US and Canada.

Most recently Kim, in partnership with colleagues at the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC and the United Way of the Lower Mainland, has been involved in the development and implementation of a population-based measure to assess child social and emotional well-being and assets – the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). In BC, almost 34,000 grade 4 and grade 7 students have completed the MDI and the measure is has been piloted in both Australia and in Peru. Kim has over 230 papers presented at scholarly national and international conferences, as well as over 90 publications in scholarly journals, books, and reports. Kim serves on several national and international advisory boards, including the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Research Advisory Group, and she is an advisor to the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Additionally, Kim is an award-winning teacher and has been internationally recognized for her collaborative work that translates research into practice. In 2009, the Confederation of University Faculty Association awarded her with its highest Distinguished Academic Award: the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award. More recently, she was the recipient of the 2015 Joseph E. Zins Distinguished Scholar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning. The award was given by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

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