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August 14, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

How can emotional intelligence be integrated in the school curriculum?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is making rather large inroads into the curriculum–at least in terms of credibility.

Alternatively, packaging social and emotional learning as a way to better meet economic, educational, or legal goals can be a way to open up a more fruitful conversation with gatekeepers. For instance, how can social and emotional learning best meets the objectives of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) or the local boards objectives. There is also a case to be made around health, decision making skills, conflict resolution, motivation, self-knowledge, classroom discipline, character, compassion, and communication as fundamental to the education process. To me, social and emotional learning is as fundamental as reading, writing, and arithmetic. If you make straight A’s but don’t have compassion or don’t know how to relate to people emotionally or don’t understand yourself emotionally you will likely be left behind (or may run over others on your journey). Moreover, these aren’t the type of healthy citizens we need in our democracy over the longer term.

Social and Emotional Learning Resources:

* CASEL.org
* Edutopia Feature on Social and Emotional Learning
* Daniel Goldman on Social and Emotional Learning
* Teacher Resources on Social and Emotional Learning (aka Curriculum)

3 Comments

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  1. Jeanne Osgood / Aug 14 2011 7:26 pm

    Glad to see your thoughts on SEL. You are correct that SEL has everything to do with how students succeed in school and in life; research abounds which supports this.
    And while SEL helps children learn self awareness and those key self regulation skills and others, it has also been shown that it improves academic skills. See http://casel.org/why-it-matters/benefits-of-sel/.
    That’s the tie-in to NCLB. SEL is a twofer because it supports the whole child and adds a needed dimension to how we educate human beings, not just learners of academic content.
    Recently, legislation was introduced to the House that supports SEL as a part of every child’s learning. Check out HR 2437. See http://casel.org/policy-advocacy/federal-policy/.

  2. Byron Stock / Aug 15 2011 6:22 pm

    Nathan I think you are absolutely right about demonstrating how EI programs support existing educational goals such as improving test scores, bullying programs, childhood obesity, etc. But even if you have the results data to prove that EI skill improvement will help, be prepared to wait for a while to get things going as schools have limited time available for helping teachers and students outside of their normal curriculum.

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  1. Reading, Writing, Empathy: The Rise of ‘Social Emotional Learning’ | GOOD « Mental Flowers

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