Social-Emotional Learning, Explained
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Social-Emotional Learning, Explained


– In recent years, some
schools have worried that kids aren’t ready for the real
world when they graduate. They don’t have the relationship skills to cope in college and career. They’re not ready for the changing demands of a new workforce. – We’re not generally comfortable in an office setting I would say. – I get cooped up. – I won’t go into an office
that’s ever been used before. – I am no good before 11 a.m. – They feel like if they
work on those skills in school students will also be ready to face academic challenges,
they’ll learn more deeply, and they’ll have better
relationships in the process. It’s called social emotional learning. – So, social awareness,
relationship skills, responsible decision making, and self-awareness today and self-management. Was self-management the one
we’re working on this week? – [Class] Yes. – [Teacher] Yes, okay, so
let’s take a look at each one. – Among the biggest
challenges for adopting social emotional learning is
defining exactly what it is. Most comprehensive SEL programs
have a couple of layers. At the core is an evidence
based program that focuses on a menu of student’s
social and emotional skills. The next layer involves
infusing those skills into classroom lessons and
things like math and reading by encouraging students to do group work and open ended problem solving. In the outer layer, changes
school and district policies and things like discipline
and parent engagement. Teachers are at the
core of making basically anything work in a
school, so when a district embraces SEL, it needs
to get teachers on board and make sure they feel
comfortable putting it into place. Schools have addressed this
by bringing teachers on board in the process early as they
design their SEL practices. They’ve also brought in
professional development to teach teachers what SEL
looks like in other schools and what it might look
like in their classroom and they’ve given them time and space to collaborate with each other
as they adjust what they do and how they interact with their students. One of the biggest challenges in embracing social and emotional learning might be defining what success looks like. Schools wanna know if
their programs are working but researchers say that current measures for SEL might not be as
sophisticated as they need to be to be used for things like deciding if a teacher is doing an effective job. That’s because most SEL measurements rely on student surveys. If I’ve been playing
basketball with my grandma my whole life, I might
think I am pretty good at it but put me on a court with LeBron James and I might realize I’m not
as skilled as I thought. The same is true for student surveys. If you ask a kid if he
has a lot of self-control he might answer differently
depending on his reference point and that makes it pretty subjective. So, some schools have sought
to redesign these measures or separate them from
high stakes consequences to avoid some of the problems
researchers have identified. (light music)

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