SEL demands new standards for measurement, progress
- Social-emotional skills need to have standardized measures of accountability if they are going to play a continued role in K-12 education, said experts at the American Educational Research Association's annual conference.
- Education Week reports that the research on social-emotional learning still hasn't caught up with the emphasis on teaching social-emotional learning, which has been proven to help many students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Motivation, self-efficacy and persistence can be helped with social-emotional instruction, and right now, social-emotional learning progress is largely self-reported.
Although research exists that social-emotional learning has plenty of benefits — like a December 2015 Duke University study that found teaching at-risk students skills like self-control could help prevent run-ins with the law later in their lives — it's important that accountability metrics keep up with the rise of such "soft skill" learning. Social-emotional learning is heavily subjective, and if more districts adopt the learning approach, objective evaluation will have to be introduced in order to maintain equity among students.
These “soft skills” associated with emotional intelligence are more likely than academic skills to keep students from running afoul of the law, and they play a key role in certain initiatives aimed at high-risk students. The program Fast Track, which took kids identified as high-risk for developing aggressive behavioral problems and taught them interventionist social and self-regulation skills, helped such students greatly. And special ed students in particular stand to gain academic rewards from learning character-building and personal development skills.
- Education Week Scholars: Better Gauges Needed for 'Mindset,' 'Grit'