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Using a Participatory Approach to Create SEL Programming: The Case of Ahlan Simsim

Authors: Kohn, Shanna
Foulds, Kim
Cole, Charlotte
Matthews, Mackenzie
Hussein, Laila
Keywords: early childhood development;ECD;education in emergencies;media;edutainment;Sesame Workshop;Sesame Street
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Publisher: Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Citation: Kohn, Shanna, Kim Foulds, Charlotte Cole, Mackenzie Matthews, and Laila Hussein. 2021. “Using a Participatory Approach to Create SEL Programming: The Case of Ahlan Simsim.” Journal on Education in Emergencies 7 (2): 289-310.
Series/Report no.: Volume 7;Number 2
Abstract: This paper highlights the use of a participatory, trauma-informed approach in the creation of Ahlan Simsim, a Sesame Street television program for the Middle East, and asserts the importance of using a participatory approach to designing culturally relevant SEL content. Ahlan Simsim is a component of a larger initiative of the same name, which was created by Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee and funded by the MacArthur and LEGO foundations. This program brings early learning and nurturing care to children and families affected by the Syrian crisis through a combination of mass media and direct service programming. In this article, we present a review of the research and consultations Sesame Workshop conducted with local communities and local child-development experts in Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon from August to November 2018. Sesame Workshop’s aim was to identify and refine the television program’s focus area and to create locally relevant, trauma-informed content that draws from social and emotional learning strategies that resonate most and have the greatest impact with audiences in the Syrian response region. We argue that, for SEL programming to achieve maximum impact, it is critical that program designers develop social-emotional frameworks for children from the ground up by working with local caregivers and practitioners.
ISSN: 2518-6833
Rights: The Journal on Education in Emergencies, published by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Appears in Collections:Volume 7, Number 2 (ENGLISH)

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