Social–emotional learning

(Redirected from Social-emotional learning)

Social–emotional learning (SEL) is an educational method that aims to foster social and emotional skills within school curricula. SEL is also referred to as "socio-emotional learning", "social and emotional learning", or "social–emotional literacy". In common practice, SEL emphasizes social and emotional skills to the same degree as other subjects, such as math, science, and reading.[1]

SEL Framework identified by CASEL as the "CASEL Wheel"

The application of SEL (and similar educational theories) within public schools has become increasingly controversial since 2020, especially within the United States.

History edit

SEL began in the 1960s at the Yale School of Medicine in its Child Study Center. There, Professor James Comer started the Comer School Development Program where he focused on the education systems of low-income African-American communities, particularly the elementary schools in New Haven, Connecticut due to their poor academic report cards.[2] The school implemented programs that focused on the social and emotional needs of the students. The approach spread to the New Haven public schools due to their proximity to Yale University.

Roger Weissberg, Timothy Shriver, researchers, and educators established the New Haven Social Development program in 1987. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) was founded in 1994, and participants published Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators in 1997.[3]

In 2019, the concept of Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (Transformative SEL, TSEL or T-SEL) was developed. Transformative SEL aims to guide students to "critically examine root causes of inequity, and to develop collaborative solutions that lead to personal, community, and societal well-being."[4][5] In 2020, CASEL updated the definition of SEL to include a stronger focus on equity, and added information about Transformative SEL as one form of SEL implementation that can focus on equity.[6][7][8]

Components edit

CASEL defines the five main components of SEL as:

  1. Self-awareness: The skill of having knowledge of one's own emotions and developing a positive self-concept.[9]
  2. Self-management: The ability to regulate one's own emotions and monitor one's own behaviors.[10] This also pertains to intrinsic motivation and setting personal goals.
  3. Social awareness: The ability to have awareness of the emotions and social situations of others.[11]
  4. Relationship skills: The skill to foster relationships and communicate within them.[12]
  5. Responsible decision-making: The ability to solve problems and hold one's self accountable.[13]

CASEL also defines what it calls the best methods for implementing SEL at different levels, such as classrooms, schools, families and caregivers, and communities.[14] These ideas are intended to help students to live socially and emotionally healthy lives both during and after their time in the school system,[15] improving academic performance by reducing stress.[16]

Stated benefits edit

According to Ammar Al-Ghabban, an independent education consultant, SEL fosters empathy and compassion, and is imperative for a successful school that effectively supports the mental wellbeing of staff and students.[17] Speaking on the importance of empathy, molecular biologist John Medina states that the more empathy training students as well as teachers get, the better their grades will become.[18] He says that it is important to make the classroom feel like a safe place for students to learn.[18]

Studies have shown that programs such as SPARK have been a successful tool for schools with a diverse population to introduce and encourage SEL skills.[19]

The implementation of SEL is shown to be statistically associated with improving the social dynamics of schools by decreasing physical aggression[20] and reducing bullying of students with disabilities.[21] SEL is statistically linked with improving academic performance by 11 percentiles.[22] Additionally, the implementation of SEL programs in schools as early as kindergarten is associated with decreasing likelihood of students growing up to use public housing, having involvement with the police, or spending time in a detention facility.[23]

Proponents of SEL say it helps students to understand and control their emotions as well as learn to accept and understand the emotions of their classmates as they navigate through their educational careers.[24] SEL is said to be important for teachers to understand and demonstrate in their classrooms in order to make the learning process more natural and easier to adjust to for students. Things like responsible decision making and positive relationship building are much easier to learn for students who are constantly exposed to examples of the behavior.[24] When SEL is woven into lessons and the school environment, students relate better to the content, are more motivated to learn, and understand the curriculum more easily.[24] Proponents say SEL can also lead to students learning important skills for the workplace as well, like teamwork, time management, and communication skills. Despite this, only three states (Illinois, Kansas, and Pennsylvania) have SEL standards for their K–12 curriculum.[24]

Controversies edit

Concerns over indoctrination edit

A number of conservative publications and groups, including National Review and The Federalist, have criticized social-emotional learning as a "Trojan horse" used to bring in ideas such as critical race theory, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other left-wing politics to the classroom.[25] Robert Pondiscio of the right-leaning think tank the American Enterprise Institute also criticized SEL for changing "the role of the teacher, from a pedagogue to something more closely resembling a psychotherapist, social worker, or member of the clergy - no less concerned with a child's beliefs, attitudes and values."[26] Those opposed to SEL have cited CASEL's 2020 initiative, "Transformative SEL", as further evidence that SEL has left-wing political overtones; "Transformative SEL" lists among its goals "interrogating social norms, disrupting and resisting inequities, and co-constructing equitable and just solutions."[27]

Privacy and information collection concerns edit

In some school districts, students are asked to enter their current mood or feelings into an app every day, as part of the social-emotional learning curriculum. This has caused some to worry about parents being excluded from the process, as well as about the protection of students' privacy.[28][29]

Policy edit

Support edit

U.S. congressman Tim Ryan introduced H.R.4626 - Social Emotional Learning for Families Act of 2019 (SELF Act) on 18 October 2019 in the 116th Congress.[30] The purpose of this bill was to create a grant program that supports the creation and implementation of a program in schools that helps to develop social and emotional habits. This bill was cosponsored only by Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Opposition edit

In February 2022, Oklahoma senator Shane Jett proposed a bill in the state legislature which aims to prohibit public and charter schools from promoting or applying SEL concepts using public or private funds.[31]

In April 2022, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) published a list of mathematics instructional materials that aligned with the state's Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (BEST) standards. Among the submitted textbooks for FDOE review, 41% were rejected for a variety of reasons including the "unsolicited addition" of SEL in mathematics.[32][33]

References edit

  1. ^ "What Is Social-Emotional Learning?". Committee for Children. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Social and Emotional Learning: A Short History". Edutopia. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  3. ^ About CASEL - Our History
  4. ^ "Transformative SEL Conditions for Thriving - Social and Emotional Learning (CA Dept of Education)".
  5. ^ "Transformative Social Emotional Learning (TSEL) | Riverside County Office of Education".
  6. ^ "Transformative SEL". CASEL.
  7. ^ Jagers, Robert J.; Rivas-Drake, Deborah; Williams, Brittney (3 July 2019). "Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Toward SEL in Service of Educational Equity and Excellence". Educational Psychologist. 54 (3): 162–184. doi:10.1080/00461520.2019.1623032. S2CID 200049608.
  8. ^ Ervin, Ariel (8 April 2021). "Transformative SEL as a Lever for Equity & Social Justice". The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.
  9. ^ "Self-Awareness (Social Emotional Learning)". Landmark Outreach. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Self-Management (Social Emotional Learning)". Landmark Outreach. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Social Awareness (Social Emotional Learning)". Landmark Outreach. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Social Emotional Learning: Developing Relationship Skills". Landmark Outreach. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Office of Social Emotional Learning / About". http. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  14. ^ "SEL: What Are the Core Competence Areas and Where are they Promoted?". Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  15. ^ "What is SEL?". Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Overview of SEL". Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  17. ^ Al-Ghabban, Ammar (3 July 2018). "A compassion framework: the role of compassion in schools in promoting well-being and supporting the social and emotional development of children and young people". Pastoral Care in Education. 36 (3): 176–188. doi:10.1080/02643944.2018.1479221. S2CID 149672282.
  18. ^ a b "The Science of Empathy: What Researchers Want Teachers to Know - EdSurge News". EdSurge. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  19. ^ Green, Amy L.; Ferrante, Stephen; Boaz, Timothy L.; Kutash, Krista; Wheeldon-Reece, Brooke (October 2021). "Evaluation of the SPARK Child Mentoring Program: A Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum for Elementary School Students". The Journal of Primary Prevention. 42 (5): 531–547. doi:10.1007/s10935-021-00642-3. PMC 8384824. PMID 34402995.
  20. ^ Espelage, Dorothy L.; Low, Sabina; Polanin, Joshua R.; Brown, Eric C. (August 2013). "The Impact of a Middle School Program to Reduce Aggression, Victimization, and Sexual Violence". Journal of Adolescent Health. 53 (2): 180–186. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.02.021. PMID 23643338.
  21. ^ Espelage, Dorothy L.; Rose, Chad A.; Polanin, Joshua R. (September 2015). "Social-Emotional Learning Program to Reduce Bullying, Fighting, and Victimization Among Middle School Students With Disabilities". Remedial and Special Education. 36 (5): 299–311. doi:10.1177/0741932514564564. S2CID 8185935.
  22. ^ Durlak, Joseph A.; Weissberg, Roger P.; Dymnicki, Allison B.; Taylor, Rebecca D.; Schellinger, Kriston B. (January 2011). "The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions: Social and Emotional Learning". Child Development. 82 (1): 405–432. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01564.x. PMID 21291449. S2CID 5689540.
  23. ^ Jones, Damon E.; Greenberg, Mark; Crowley, Max (November 2015). "Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness". American Journal of Public Health. 105 (11): 2283–2290. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302630. PMC 4605168. PMID 26180975.
  24. ^ a b c d "Social Emotional Learning (SEL) & Why It Matters for Educators". National University. 9 July 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  25. ^ Tyler Kingkade; Mike Hixenbaugh (15 November 2021). "Parents protesting 'critical race theory' identify another target: Mental health programs". NBC News.
  26. ^ Pondiscio, Robert (October 2021). "The Unexamined Rise of Therapeutic Education: How Social-Emotional Learning Extends K-12 Education's Reach into Students' Lives and Expands Teachers' Roles" (PDF). American Enterprise Institute. ERIC ED616706.
  27. ^ Field, Kelly (21 February 2022). "Social and emotional learning is latest flashpoint in the education wars". Seattle Times.
  28. ^ Stephenson, Jemma (24 February 2022). "Some Montgomery school parents feel Rhithm app may violate their rights, privacy of children". The Montgomery Advertiser.
  29. ^ O'Donnell, Patrick (13 June 2019). "Social and emotional learning goals for schools approved despite privacy, overreach complaints". The Plain Dealer.
  30. ^ Ryan, Tim (8 October 2019). "Text - H.R.4626 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): SELF Act of 2019". Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  31. ^ "Senator proposes bill that would prohibit social-emotional learning in Oklahoma schools". 14 February 2022.
  32. ^ FDOE Press Office (15 April 2022). "Florida Rejects Publishers' Attempts to Indoctrinate Students". Florida Department of Education. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  33. ^ Atterbury, Andrew (6 May 2022). "Mystery solved? Florida reveals why it rejected math books over critical race theory". Politico.

External links edit