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For Immediate Release
April 17 2017

DR. EVA OBERLE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA TO SPEAK AT NLTA BGM

St. John’s, NL … Dr. Eva Oberle, an Assistant Professor with the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP; http://earlylearning.ubc.ca) in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, will be the keynote speaker at the NLTA’s Biennial General Meeting. Dr. Oberle will address the assembly at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19. The title of Dr. Oberle’s address is It’s all about relationships: Strategies to buffer children as well as educators from stress, and promote health, wellbeing and success in schools.

The school is arguably one of the most important ecological contexts that shape children’s health, wellbeing, and success in school and life. Research has shown that the experiences students encounter in school are important predictors for their resilience and growth in- and outside of school. Two core predictors have been identified for students’ wellbeing and success in school: a) the relationships children form with each other, and b) the relationships children form with their teachers and other adults in the school. Both are embedded into the broader social and emotional climate in schools and classrooms.

Dr. Oberle will highlight the role that prosocial and caring relationships with peers and teachers play in students’ lives. Using a social-emotional learning framework, she will discuss strategies how educators can create a positive climate in their classrooms and in schools to create an environment for developing healthy relationships. She will also discuss significant stressors and challenges that many educators experience in their profession, and the risk that occupational burnout presents to educators’ as well as students’ wellbeing and success. Dr. Oberle argues for a systemic shift in education that provides teachers with the necessary resources to ensure their wellbeing and “fitness” in order to enhance the wellbeing and fitness of students.

Dr. Oberle completed her undergraduate and Masters studies in psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and completed postdoctoral research at the Collaborative and Academic and Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) in Chicago. Dr. Oberle investigates predictors of positive child development that promote mental health and wellbeing in all children. Her research examines the role of school and community assets in children’s lives, including peer relationships, relationships with adults (e.g., family members, teachers, mentors), and school-characteristics (e.g., social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom). Specifically, she has conducted population-based research with the Middle Years Development Instrument, evaluated SEL interventions, and conducted large-scale cross sectional and longitudinal studies on positive youth development. Dr. Oberle takes a whole-child approach, understanding child development within the ecological contexts in which they grow (i.e., home, school, neighborhood, society.

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For further information contact:
Lesley-Ann Browne, NLTA Communications, Tel: 709-726-3223, ext. 228; 682-3751 (cellular); labrowne@nlta.nl.ca