- Despite social-emotional learning's growth in schools, teacher-preparation programs aren't keeping up in offering prospective teachers training on identifying and teaching those skills, Education Week reports.
- A recent report from researchers at the University of British Columbia for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) shows that few programs are addressing SEL competencies in mandatory coursework, despite their growing presence in state teacher-certification requirements.
- Nancy Markowitz, director of the Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child at San Jose State University in California, told Education Week that she expects teacher-prep programs to embrace the concept more as the number of states adopting standards around it grows.
Interest in social-emotional learning has grown in recent years as employers call for more graduates possessing soft skills around self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making and interpersonal relationships. The concept's value is further backed by research from Penn State University and the Robert Wood Foundation, which has found that an $11 return on investment for every $1 spent on SEL.
Districts, however, have also had to figure out how to measure progress in SEL, which isn't always easily quantifiable the way mathematics or literacy might be. Leaders from three districts in California, Texas and Illinois outlined their tactics for doing so in an Education Week and Panorama Education webinar last November, and Nashville and Chicago are also among major cities putting focus on those skills. An online tool called SELweb has also started offering assessments to measure student progress.