Nashville-based school network puts big focus on SEL

Dive Brief:

  • A new school network in Nashville is realizing student success by incorporating social and emotional learning into its curriculum.
  • The network, called Valor Collegiate Academies, focuses on developing non-academic habits in students, such as curiosity, courage and determination, according to EdSurge.
  • Every student at Valor receives an individualized plan for developing their social and emotional skill set with tasks and guidance for working on each one.

Dive Insight:

Incorporating social and emotional learning is a growing trend among schools around the country, thanks in part to research that suggests it can lead to gains in student academic performance. Research also points to decreased behavior issues and better stress management for students who participate in SEL programs. And a Columbia University study found that schools see a return on investment for such programs at a rate of 11:1.

While few states require students to complete SEL work, most states require teachers to complete at least some training in social and emotional learning. However, a recent report from the University of British Columbia found that many teachers lack training and effective guidelines for managing their own SEL skill sets and for imparting SEL to students. To that end, California has formed a working group to create guidelines for use in schools across the state. California has also joined a multi-state project called Collaborating States Initiative studying what successful SEL programs look like and offering guidance to state education leaders on the subject. 

Filed Under: K12