CASEL Water Cooler

What Is a PechaKucha? Storytelling at the SEL Exchange

October 2, 2023

What does it look like to lean into adult SEL in support of the well-being of all students? The work takes as many forms as there are stories to tell. That’s why we’ve invited educators, researchers, youth and colleagues from across the field of SEL to share their stories in an engaging presentation format called “PechaKucha” during the 2023 SEL Exchange.

What Is PechaKucha?

Created in 2003 by two architects based in Japan, PechaKucha is a 7-minute presentation format that highlights a first-person story, with a backdrop of 20 images shown for 20 seconds each. The Japanese term “pechakucha” translates to “chitchat” in English but the messages conveyed are anything but small talk. PKs offer a concise, visually engaging format for sharing ideas, information and inspiration.   

“Talk Less, Show More”: Why PechaKucha?

Why try PechaKucha? Here are a few reasons:

  • It’s the grown-up version of “Show and Tell.” Many of us remember these presentations in elementary school—both giving them and seeing them. And you can probably still recall some of them! That’s what PechaKucha does: It creates short but impactful stories that will stay with you. 
  • The visual format means words don’t get in the way. The SEL Exchange offers plenty of great deep dives into research papers. But they’re not the only way to hear what’s new. PechaKucha is an inspirational way to engage your imagination as you learn about others’ SEL journeys through images and storytelling.
  • It cuts down on the clutter. Because of its strict time limits, presenters hone in on the most essential points and examples they want to offer.
  • It challenges presenters to think creatively about their topics. When you take in a PechaKucha presentation, you witness what happens when someone is pushed from their comfort zone to put a new perspective on their experiences. The outcome is fresh thinking, which can energize your own thinking as well.

A Sneak Peek at the 2023 SEL Exchange PechaKuchas 

Get ready for 19 PechaKucha presentations offered through the SEL Exchange. Here are just a few: 

High-Achieving High Schools Connote Behavioral Risks for Students: My Story
Rick Yang
Hear from a high school senior about lessons learned from investigating the pressure to succeed in high-achieving schools (HAS) districts. Drawn from personal stories and research, this talk highlights the importance of youth voice and leadership, SEL interventions, and other resources for supporting students in HAS.

(Re)claiming Our Belonging: Our Best SEL Is Adult Modeling
Dau Jok
What is the power of (re)claiming our humanity and belonging as a catalyst for adult SEL? Adult SEL needs a transformative, equity-centered, and humanized slant to support students’ and adults’ desired dimensions of identity. What are some practical ways to build toward that, together?

Is SEL Universal? 
Evelyn Johnson
Explore how cultural adaptations of SEL measures can advance the field by supporting the scaling of research to practice, allowing for cross-cultural research and informing universal theories of social and emotional competence, including the role of cultural context.

SEL for Pre-Service Teachers
Nicole Skaar
To improve SEL for our students, we need to develop SEL skills in teachers. Why not begin in teacher education? Hear about the process and result of establishing an SEL minor for teacher education students at a regional comprehensive university and former normal school.

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