previous and upcoming events

NISSEM Global Briefs volume III online launch hosted by UNESCO

Jun 23, 2022


Watch the full video of the launch event here.

On 28 April 2022, UNESCO hosted an online event to celebrate the release of the third volume of NISSEM’s Global Briefs, an open-access collection of papers edited by NISSEM Co-conveners Andy Smart and Margaret Sinclair. The third edition of the Global Briefs features thirteen papers from around the globe that describe a variety of approaches to conceptualizing, facilitating and assessing social and emotional learning (SEL) – broadly defined as a process that supports children’s emotional development and helps them to build healthy social relationships, self-esteem and agency.  

The webinar was moderated by Sobhi Tawil, Director of Learning and Innovation at UNESCO, with opening remarks by Stefania Giannini UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education and an overview of the Global Briefs by NISSEM Co-convener Aaron Benavot were followed by presentations from four contributors to the volume, each shedding light on the process of implementing SEL in non-Western contexts.

  • Hana Suzuki (Ritsumeikan University, Japan) discussed a qualitative study looking into Japanese teachers’ prioritizing and cultivation of SEL competencies such as interdependence, anger management, and living in harmony with society, as a cultural translation of SEL frameworks developed in Western societies to suit the Japanese education context.
  • John Mugo (Zizi Afrique) and Mauro Giacomazzi (LGIHE) described how the Regional Education Learning Initiative (RELI) assesses life skills and values in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, where each country is at a different stage in integrating SEL competencies and developing assessment tools. The overall aim of this initiative is to equip learners with 21st century skills by assisting governments in developing context-relevant, open-source assessment tools, sharing evidence for accountability and establishing a regional community of practice.
  • The Cognitive and Affective Skills Study (CASS) study shared by Vyjayanthi Sankar (Center for Science of Student Learning, India) is grounded in a model that links students’ success in school as well as their personal well-being to social and emotional skills, positive attitude and a supportive school climate. This large study, piloted in India with its complex language and cultural diversity, relied on active participation by students, teachers, and parents. Recommendations include inculcating empathy through the curriculum, using surveys to periodically measure school climate and facilitating mindfulness training to increase students’ attentiveness.

The follow-up discussion addressed questions and concerns from participants from around the globe, centering mainly on implications for training and support for teachers as they integrate SEL into their teaching practice. Panelists stressed the need for teachers to build on what they already know and do, but also to gain more structured knowledge and to co-create contextualized strategies for prioritizing and nurturing SEL competencies their classrooms. Developing strategies and assessment tools must be based on a shared understanding among all implementers, including school leaders and teachers, of SEL concepts and processes, using familiar terms.

In her concluding remarks, Cecilia Barbieri, Chief of the Section of Global Citizenship and Peace Education at UNESCO, reflected on the contributors’ experiences of actively involving teachers and communities in the process of bringing SEL to life in their local contexts. These studies from the NISSEM Global Briefs bring into focus the view that SEL that “is not, in itself, an outcome to be achieved, but a process in which to engage broadly” in diverse educational settings. Further research in this dimension, especially from the Global South, will continue to inform UNESCO’s vision of humanistic and holistic education and ultimately result in lasting transformations.

NISSEM Global Briefs Volume IV: Doing More with Language Teaching

May 16, 2022


We are now seeking proposals for the next volume of Global Briefs. This will be the first volume to focus on a particular discipline and will include two parts:

Part 1: Teaching reading, writing and literature

Part 2: Teaching English as a second language

See the NGB IV Concept Note for details.  

Questions? Go to our 'Stay Connected' page or email us at


NISSEM Global Briefs Volume III launched

Apr 28, 2022

On 28th April, NISSEM published its third volume of Global Briefs: Social and Emotional Learning in Context. The open access publication was launched at a webinar, entitled 'What does SEL mean in your context?' hosted by UNESCO HQ.

With opening words by Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, the webinar was moderated by Sobhi TawilDirector, Future of Learning and Innovation and featured four contributors to the volume:

  • Hanako Suzuki (Associate Professor of Psychology, Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
  • John Mugo (Executive Director, Zizi Afrique Foundation, Kenya) and Mauro Giacomazzi (Institutional Development Adviser, Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education, Uganda)
  • Vyjayanthi Sankar (Executive Director, Centre for Science of Student Learning, India)

View the NISSEM Global Briefs: Social and emotional learning in context here.

A link to the video recording of the webinar will be made available soon. 

UNESCO Speaker Series to feature Jordan Naidoo on education and equity in Afghanistan

Feb 17, 2022

"New Taliban in Afghanistan -- Old Wine in New Bottles" 

This UNESCO Speaker Series event features Jordan Naidoo - International Education Consultant - Former UNESCO Director and country Representative for Afghanistan (2019-2021).  Moderated by Dr. James Williams, Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development and NISSEM Co-convener. 

February 17, 2022 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

RSVP at Naidoo Event

NISSEM and VNIES Co-host International Conference on Learning Transversal Competencies

Dec 02, 2021

The Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences (VNIES) and NISSEM jointly hosted a ground-breaking international conference on learning transversal competencies in ASEAN* countries and their neighbors. The day-long virtual event commemorated the 60th anniversary of the founding of VNIES with a clear eye to the future. The three distinguished keynote speakers challenged over 200 participants from around the region and the globe to reflect on what ‘transversal competencies’ are and how to better put them into practice in schools and institutions of learning.  Follow-up exchanges featuring panel discussions moderated by NISSEM explored regional and national innovations in policy, research and practice, planning and implementation in Asia. 










A volume of papers by the presenters of the Conference will be jointly published later in 2022.

The day’s sessions may be viewed in their entirety at the links below:

*Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam

What Lies Ahead? A Look into the Futures of Education

Dec 11, 2020

NISSEM and Teachers College, Columbia University co-organised two webinars in December 2020 and January 2021 on "Civic Responsibility, Textbooks and Pedagogy in a Time of Rapid Change. The presentations featured the authors of three related background papers commissioned by UNESCO's Futures of Education Commission. In the first session, NISSEM co-conveners Aaron Benavot and Andy Smart joined Helen Haste (University of Bath), Vidur Chopra (Teachers' College) and Michele Schweisfurth (University of Glasgow), while in the second session, James Williams (George Washington University) contributed to the NISSEM presentation on textbooks and pedagogy. Both webinars were moderated by Noah Sobe of UNESCO and Loyola University.

Offering their reactions to the pressing issues and innovative ideas brought to light by the presenters were  Mohammad Mahboob Morshed of the BRAC Institute of Educational Development (11 December) and Enrique Chaux, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia (7 January). 

You are invited to watch full recordings of the two webinars On the Futures of Education: Civic Responsibility, Pegagogy and Textbooks on the NISSEM YouTube channel. The links below will take you there:

Session 1: December 11, 2020

Session 2: January 7, 2021



NISSEM contributes to UNESCO 'Futures of Education' global initiative

Aug 01, 2020

NISSEM was selected by UNESCO to write one of 20 background papers that informs a global report by the Futures of Education Commission. Led by the President of Ethiopia, Her Excellency President Sahle-Work Zewde, the Commission looked to “reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet”. The Futures of Education: Learning to Become report will lay out an agenda for education policy dialogue and action at multiple levels. Watch the Futures of Education video here.

The background paper has been published by UNESCO and will be acknowledged in the final Futures of Education: Learning to Become report to be published in November 2021. In addition, NISSEM organized webinars with the Teacher's College and UNESCO around this paper and two others. 

You can find NISSEM's paper HERE.

Smart, A.T., Sinclair, M., Benavot, A., Bernard, J., Chabbott, C., Russell, S. G.and Williams, J. 2020. Learning for uncertain futures: The role of textbooks, curriculum, and pedagogy. Paper commissioned for the UNESCO Futures of Education report (2020).


NISSEM Global Briefs introduced at 2019 Global Conference on Teacher Education for ESD at Okayama University, Japan

Nov 22, 2019 to Nov 24, 2019

During the proceedings of the 2019 Global Conference on Teacher Education for Education for Sustainable Development attended by some 150 teacher educators from around the world, NISSEM co-convener Aaron Benavot gave a presentation entitled “Integrating cognitive, social/emotional and behavioral learning in the teaching of education for sustainability and global citizenship: Recent findings and insights.” He used this occasion to report key findings from the new UNESCO publication “Educational Content Up Close” to which NISSEM provided critical inputs, as well as an overview of the NISSEM Global Briefs. Watch a video of Dr. Benavot's presentation here.








NISSEM Global Briefs presented at University College London's Institute of Education

Jan 08, 2020

On 8 January 2020, Margaret Sinclair, Matthew Jukes (RTI) and Andy Smart presented NISSEM Global Briefs within a Centre for Education and International Development seminar at University College London's Institute of Education. Discussants were Juliet Millican (Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex), Rae Snape (headteacher, Milton Road Primary School, Cambridge) and Sébastien Hine (consultant, former contributor to GEM Report 2019). NISSEM's profile in the UK continues to grow.