A female teacher sits consoling a young student in the corridor, the little girl looks very upset … [+] and holds her head in her hands.
Schools have historically provided refuge for notions of what is right in the world. Recent events are sadly expanding the spectrum of challenges facing our public schools. From shocking and life-altering violence to the challenges of what students can and cannot read, communities struggle to understand their role in supporting healthy and whole child outcomes.
Social-emotional Learning (SEL), a focus of schools that once felt like an automatic to be fully embedded in education, has also felt the collective wrath of a society unsure of what constitutes ‘right’ from ‘wrong.’
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the preeminent SEL research and practice body, finds that when students have supportive relationships and opportunities to develop and practice social, emotional, and cognitive skills, academic learning accelerates. With meta-analysis across 213 studies involving more than 270,000 students, SEL programs produced 27% improvement in academic performance, and 24% more would have improved social behaviors and lower levels of distress.
Proponents define social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals.
The documentary Chicago: America’s Hidden War demonstrates the lasting impact of violence on the daily fabric of school children’s lives. Witnessing the death of fellow students while surrounded by violent crime is a constant stressor for children. Outside of the long-term psychological effects that carry over to adulthood, there is an …