Capable & Confident Kids: Conversations in K-8 Education

How Play Enhances Social-Emotional Learning with Dr. Lori Koerner

Episode Summary

This podcast episode explores the importance of free play and its essential role in social-emotional and academic learning. We interview Dr. Lori Koerner, executive director of curriculum, instruction, and professional personnel for New York’s Riverhead Central School District. Lori gives her expert perspective on “the boredom question” and looks at how many children are overscheduled today. She also shares her experience using a teaching style that allows students to explore, make choices, and become creative, self-directed learners. Lori highlights three key benefits of play that educators should keep in mind. This includes helping students release energy, express emotion, and form relationships.

Episode Notes

About Let Grow

Let Grow leads the movement for childhood independence. We create resources for parents to promote independence across all ages, and our K-12 school programs nurture self-reliance, social-emotional learning and open-mindedness. Together we can create a future where all children have the freedom to explore, play and think on their own, growing up bold and resilient. Join us at

Listen to our other K-8 conversations here.

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Follow Lori Koerner on Twitter @LoriKoernerRCSD