SEL in the News

NOTICE: New articles, journal pieces and original thoughts are now being posted on our Twitter feed on the right side of the home page. @SEL4MA is our handle there. If you scroll down the feed you will see all of the articles that, in pre-Twitter days, would have been posted here. September 6, 2015 Psychology Today blog post by SEL4MA Steering Committee member Karen Craddock and colleague Amy Banks provides effective strategies to stop the pain caused by social exclusion. June 29, 2015 What happens when there is a statewide movement to include SEL in all aspects of life….read Dr. Maurice Elias column here. June 6, 2015 A New Yorker article about the education policies of Jeb Bush, A story of the buying of public education. Well worth reading. May 27, 2015 Our national release on PR NewsWire about our 4th Annual Conference at the State House in Boston, Massachusetts. May 26, 2015 John Dacey and Lindsey Neves teamed up to write this op-ed that has appeared in four Wicked Local town papers, called, “Social Emotional Learning is the Other Core Curriculum.” May 12, 2015 Watch SEL4MA members Ayele Shakur and Margaret Kiwanuka talk about SEL on Boston Neighborhood TV at May 6, 2015 Momentous Institute and AT&T have released new social-emotional learning apps that helps kid identify and understand their emotions. Read the PR Release and see the links. April 30, 2015 10 Districts in California (representing over a million students) have received a waiver from the federal government so that they can measure student success holistically and not just by test scores, but by using assessment tools that include SEL indicators. Read about it here. April 14, 2015 Governor Deval Patrick has taken a job with Bain Capital to head up their Social Impact Bond fund, an investment vehicle where SEL could have an impact in its ability to deliver on measurable goals. Read about here. April 10, 2015 Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and SEL4MA member Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence have joined forces to start the Emotion Revolution by asking high school students to fill out surveys about the way they feel and they way they’d like to feel. Go to the survey here. April 7, 2015 New York Times article. “At Charters, High Scores and Polarizing Tactics”, puts forth teaching techniques to extract good test scores by making children feeling “misery” for failing and refusing bathroom breaks during testing. Where is the longitudinal studies to show what this trauma does to children in their beliefs about themselves, in others, empathy and the effect of stress at such a young age all for the sake of better test scores? If you can stomach it (mine is in knots right now), here it is. March 26, 2015 Personalizing social-emotional learning using Google Forms. How to connect with students in an interesting way. See the article on EdSurge here. March 23, 2015 A new research paper reported in Child Trends called, Preventing Violence: Understanding and Addressing Determinants of Youth Violence in the United States” explores conclusions reached including that schools are an important locus for intervention and that efforts to improve school climate (including developing SEL skills). Schools are another important locus for intervention, and efforts to improve school climate include a focus on improving engagement, safety, and environment by developing social and emotional skills, reducing of bullying and other physical and emotional safety issues, and creating consistent and fair disciplinary policies. March 11, 2015 El Rancho Unified School District in California receives a $7 million grant for behavioral and mental health programs. Part of the grant is for teachers to become emotionality literate. Article here. March 3, 2015 Low income students reap big benefits from mindfulness. Interesting article is right here. February 27, 2015 Benefits of SEL far outweigh the costs, says an economic study by Columbia’s Center for Benefit-Cost Studies. See study here. February 21, 2015 Building trust between principals and teachers is a way to model behavior we want to see in students. See this article in the Huffington Post about Pamela Siegel and Chip Wood. November 8, 2014 Massachusetts educators reviewing the test-approach as being too focused on data and not enough on creativity. See the article here. October 23, 2014 Is kindergarten the new 1st grade, asks Shael Polakow-Suransky and Nancy Nager in this article, “The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K”. October 21, 2014 Joan Duffel, Executive Director of Committee for Children (developers of the Second Step SEL program), has written an op-ed titled “Education Policy Is Stuck in the Manufacturing Age” to speak specifically to business leaders and policy makers. October 21, 2014 Chrissy Harmon, SEL4MA member, and founder of Clueberry World has a new parenting education website where you can learn how to teach your children emotional intelligence coping skills that increase achievement & happiness. See the website here. October 19, 2014 Fiona Collins, a principal of an elementary school in Dublin, says, “No real education can happen unless social and emotional needs are met,” The title of the article is “Empathy, creativity and teamwork- the future of Irish Education?” October 13, 2014 A business perspective of why social-emotional learning is so important. is seen here October 6, 2014 Should state ed commissioners get involved in the social-emotional learning of homeschoolers? See this CT article. September 26, 2014 Elementary school principal explains SEL environments at his school in Lake Placid NY. #socialemotionallearning #SEL September 20, 2014 Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley has a grea bog posted about social-emotional learning and its effect on teachers and teaching by Vicki Zakrzewski. See here. September 11, 2014 A teacher recounts his experiences in a Chicago Public School. See the Chicago Sun-Times article here. August 27, 2014 Eve Sullivan, SEL4MA member and founder of Parents Forum, just had her blog posted on School Family entitled. “Emotional Awareness: An Essential Tool for Back to School”. August 17, 2014 An article by David Kirp in the NY Times called “Teaching is not a Business” is well-worth the read. August 10, 2014 SEL4MA member and president of Teachers21, John D’Auria wrote a letter to the Boston Globe addressing effective teaching transforming students. July 22, 2014 A letter to the NY Times written by outgoing Sacremento Unified School District Superintendent Johnathan Raymond about the average performance of U.S. 15 year olds. Read it here. June 27, 2014 For those of you working with schools or districts on engaging and informing audiences through social media, or hoping to do so in the future, you might be interested in this Department of Education resource just released. June 24, 2014 Interesting article by SEL4MA member Lee Guerette on healthy classrooms which can be found in her newsletter which you can find here. June 9, 2014 SEL4MA member Lesson One featured in news feature in California here. May 25, 2014 SEL in China!!! Read about it in this China News Service story. May 24, 2014 Oakland Unified School District’s emphasis on adults modeling SEL behavior is a model for other school districst. See the article here. May 13, 2014 15 funding resources for sustained efforts in social-emotional learning for districts have been identifited by the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and the Center on Educatiuon Policy. See the article here. April 28, 2014 Eve Sullivan, founder of Parents Forum and SEL4MA member, has written a very interesting blog on the Huffington Post website discussing her recent visit to Qatar for a conference on empowering families in the Arab world. She talks about the differences and similarities of the challenges facing families in the West compared to Arab families. See this article here March 31, 2014 Lessons in empathy reduces acts of aggression, say Spanish researchers at the University of Malaga and University of the Basque Country, who have sought to address both these issues by examining the impact of a two-year SEL intervention on student aggression and empathy in eight Spanish secondary schools located in three different cities. See the article here. March 10, 2014 “Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts”, a report filed by the Committee to Reduce Firearm Violence appointed by Speaker DeLeo found that “robust mental health services… need to be expanded in our schools.” Further, they have said that we must “bridge the mental health and educational systems to support youth in their social and emotional development, in addition to their academic success”. At P. 14. March 4, 2014 Austin Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, was quoted as saying that, “You have to, yes, be accountable for academic outcomes, but we also have to be accountable to children and helping them develop [social and emotional] skills, and if we’re not doing it, I believe it’s educational malpractice,” she said. “Without doing those two things together, you’re not developing children who will be prepared for life, career and college.” Read the whole article here. January 29, 2014 The Novo Foundation has given a $600,000 gift to SEL4MA member Responsive Classroom to expand their services. Congratulations to our friends in Turners Falls, MA. Here is the announcement. January 23, 2014 A teacher, Elizabeth Natale, at Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford CT wrote an op-ed for the Hartford Courant entitled “Why I Want to Give Up Teaching.” It went viral. It is worth reading. January 22, 2014 There is a new blogpost called “How to Integrate Social-Emotional Learning into Common Core” that makes for interesting reading. January 16, 2014 “How are Social-Emotional Learning and the Common Core Connected?” is the subject of an article with Maurice Elias, Kristen Fink and Lauren Geller. December 12, 2013 The American Psychology Association Task Force new report on “Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention and Policy” came out today. It said, in part, “A substantial body of scientific evidence identifies important developmental, familial, and social risk factors for violence. In addition, an array of rigorously tested psychological and educational interventions facilitate healthy social development and reduce aggressive behavior by teaching social skills and problem-solving strategies. It is important that policymakers and stakeholders recognize the value of prevention.” You can read here about the report as printed in the NY Times today. December 11, 2013 In the New Yorker Magazine, Parents Forum founder and SEL4MA member, Eve Sullivan, was published in a letter that she wrote advocating for parents resources as a “standard social service.” See the New Yorker letter (2nd down from the top). Congratulations, Eve! November 16, 2013 The effect of trauma on children has a direct effect on how we should be managing discipline problems, so says David Bornstein in a NY Times Opiniator blog. See this article for an interesting perspective. October 28, 2013 An excellent article in Education Today entitled “Social-Emotional Programs Target Students’ Long-Term Behavior” October 15, 2013 SEL4MA member Evelyn Frankford wrote in the Podium Boston Globe website about “Education and the mayoral candidates.” Check it out here. October 11, 2013 Two great articles about SEL in the Boston Schools in the Bay State Banner and Jamaica Plain Gazette at the Kennedy School. October 7, 2013 Social-Emotional Learning the Focus of New NASBE Resource – The National Association of School Boards of Education From Practice to Policy was conceived as a new resource to help state board members and the education community at large better understand promising practices in school reform and see how these practices can be advanced through policy. October 2, 2013 Forbes Magazine highlights the need for business leaders to embrace emotional intelligence. Read the article here. September 16, 2013 Here is an interview with Jenifer Kahn, the author of the NY Times Magazine article about social-emotional learning (SEL) entitled, “Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?” September 5, 2013 Instructional article called, “Teaching the Whole Child: Instructional Practices That Support Social-Emotional Learning in Three Teacher Evaluation Frameworks” can be found here. August 30, 2013 Boston Magazine’s September, 2013 has a brilliant article brought to our attention by Rachel Poliner called, “A Tale of Two Schools” by Rob Gurwitt about Orchard Park and Higgison/Lewis schools here in Boston. August 28, 2013 A webinar on Sept 3, 2013 is available called, “Improving Classroom Climate Through Social-Emotional Learning.” You can register here. August 27, 2013 Using Photography as a means of teaching social-emotional learning. A very interesting piece found here. August 13, 2013 “Children Exposed to Violence”, by Eric Holder’s Task Force, is the best argument for SEL in every school in Massachusetts. Read it here! August 9, 2013 SEL4MA member and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Marc Brackett and Maurice Elias, Director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers University, appeared on NPR to spread the word about SEL. Listen here. July 28, 2013 A new Letter to the Editor by Mitch Lyons of the SEL Alliance was printed by the Boston Globe in regards anyone offering a long-term plan to reduce violence in the Boston mayoralty race on behalf of the Social Emotional Learning Alliance (SEL4MA). July 18, 2013 “I started searching for answers to these killings in 2008 when my neighbor’s son died on that very corner. My search led me to discover the concept of social-emotional learning, and I am eternally grateful. I believe with all of my being that it gives hope to my community and can help stem the tide of violence in my neighborhood and others.” See the July 18th posting of an article from a woman in South Chicago who says SEL gives her community hope of reducing violence in their community. This is the essence of the SEL Alliance for Massachusetts (SEL4MA). Let’s reach out to friends and neighbors and enlist their support. July 7, 2013 Mitch Lyons, one of the organizers of the SEL Alliance for Massachusetts (SEL4MA), writes a Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe regarding a column by Alex Beam about re-classifying obesity as a “disease”. Mr. Lyons’ letter is linked here. June 28, 2013 Q + A with Nan Stein in the Spring, 2013 edition of Wellesley Centers for Women “Research and Action Report”. The article, “Educators can make a difference in preventing gender-based violence,” follows her recent study findings and her involvement in the field of sexual harrassment for decades. Very interesting reading. June 27, 2013 Goldman Sachs is investing in public education through social-impact bonds. Read about it here. June 25, 2013 Eve Sullivan, founder of Parents’ Forum and SEL4MA member, responds to Joan Vennochi’s article in her Letter to the Editor. June 20, 2013 “Boston’s Gang Wars, 2013” by Joan Vennochi has quotes in it from our leaders that will make you wince. Now is not the time to give up on violence in our streets. Now is the time to double down on prevention, in schools, at home, and in our community. June 2, 2013 See a new video from Edutopia about Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). May 1, 2013 An Op-ed in the NY Times, “No Rich Child Left Behind” explains the income gap as it affects education. It’s a very important piece to read. Should we be thinking about expanding the mission of SEL4MA to include pre-school parent education? April 12, 2013 A new PBS NewsHour segment on Goldman Sachs/Rockefeller Foundation investment into social impact bonds and it’s potential to reduce recidivism at Rikkers Island prison. April 11, 2013 For those interested in Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), this publication of a 33 page report on preparing for SIBs, written by Third Sector Capital Partners from a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, is a “how-to” master plan for getting ready. All SEL providers should be interested in this new funding stream and if we work together, we can be prepared. April 7, 2013 A video showing elementary school SEL training in Maine highlighting a Responsive Classroom program. See the video here. March 29, 2012 Partners HealthCare posted a video of one of Boston’s elementary school’s program that is benefiting from their grant to a collaboration of Boston Public Health and the Boston Public Schools. See it here. March 25, 2013 Goldman Sachs investing $9.6 million in the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience program, a new curriculum that seeks to bring down the number of youth offenders going back to prison via Social Impact Bond. Try to imagine how SEL can be funded in the same manner. Read more here. March 24, 2013 Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, explains how Social Impact Bonds are a new way of funding social change, like addressing recidivism for criminal offenders. But it has broader implications for the SEL community because it can finance prevention programs. She says, “What [society] does is look for very well-proven, well-demonstrated, data-driven social interventions. Then it looks for private sector financing to support those interventions [that have been proven effective] based on performance.” Read more here. March 19, 2013 Nova Biro, Co-Director of Open Circle at Wellesley College, has written an article for the Wheelock College’s Aspire Institute’s website entitled, “The Case for Social Emotional Learning”. You can find it here. March 4, 2013 Although an older article, “Collective Impact” in Stanford’s Soical Innovation Review (Winter, 2011) gives an outline for how effective SEL4MA could be if we can get all the players in Massachusetts together to work collectively by forming a common agenda, having a shared measurement system, conduct mutually reinforcing activites, continuous communication and a funded support staff. Please read this article for further discussion. March 3, 2013 High school programs that teach teens to better manage their personality traits can help reduce and postpone problem drinking, a new study suggests. The Abstract of the Study can be viewed here. “Two factors determine problem drinking: personality and peer pressure,” said study author Dr. Patricia Conrod of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry. “Teaching young people how to better manage their personality traits or vulnerabilities helps them make the right decisions in given situations, whether it is a matter of overcoming their fears, managing thoughts that make them very emotional, controlling their compulsions, analyzing objectively the intentions of others or improving their self-perception.” February 24, 2013 A New York Times, op-ed piece by Alex Kotlowicz bears reading entitled, “The Price of Public Violence.” We can only hope he does an article about long term plans to mitigate violence and addiction that includes SEL. Febraury 5, 2013 NexusEQ, “Spark Positive Change”, June 24-26, 2013, at Harvard University. This large conference examines the power of emotions from many different aspects with interesting and accomplished speakers and after conference webinars that will extend the conversation. They wish to spark positive change. SEL4MA members Deborah Donahue-Keegan and Karen Craddock will be delivering a workshop there. Get more information and see the speakers listed here. January 17, 2013 President Obama unveiled “Now is the Time; The President’s plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence.” On Page 14, he says, “To help schools break the cycle of violence, Congress should provide $25 million to offer students mental health services for trauma or anxiety, conflict resolution programs, and other school-based violence prevention strategies.” January 13, 2013 Mitch Lyons has written an article for Santa Clara Law School Magaizne entitled, “Building an Ethical Athlete Starts Before College”. In it, he suggests that sport psychology, which fits under the umbrella of social-emotional learning (SEL), should be taught on youth and school sports teams and that the idea that sports is extra-curricular is a 19th century idea. Sports should embrace sport psychology at the earliest level in an educational way, where the priniciples are discussed and read about and where the team should act as the laboratory for students to test the axioms. December 8, 2012 Hurricane Sandy caused great stress in students . The article shows how stress affects children everyday from many sources. Read here. November 30, 2012 Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that Partners HealthCare, and its founding hospitals Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital, is committing $1 million to the Boston Public Health Commission for a collaborative effort among the two organizations and the Boston Public Schools to implement Open Circle, a social and emotional learning program developed and run out of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, for 7,000 students in 23 Boston public elementary and K-8 schools. Read here. November 15, 2012 On September 20, 2012, in Washington DC, CASEL unveiled the 2013 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs – Preschool and Elementary School Edition. It is now available online on the CASEL website. The guide (an update of Safe and Sound) on SEL programs that meet CASEL criteria for effectiveness: solid program design, quality professional development and implementation supports, and positive outcomes for students. Read about it here! Race to the Top District awards will include an evaluation of social-emotional learning for the first time. See this Education Week article that appears in their October 19, 2012 issue. November 12, 2012 Professor Maurice Elias, in an August 2, 2012 Edutopia article, lists the different aspects of what SEL4MA calls “social-emotional learning (SEL)”, which we use as a broad-based term that encapsulates many different approaches to the same problems. He includes: Social-Emotional Learning. Character Education. Service Learning. Peer Mediation. Bullying Prevention. Anger Management. Drug/Alcohol Prevention. Violence Prevention. Ethical-Decision Making. Harassment Prevention. Positive Behavior Supports. October 19, 2012 For the first time, Race to the Top awards will be based partially on social-emotional learning (SEL) components to their districts plans. This is a great advancement!! See the article here. October 9, 2012 SEL4MA member, Sondra Peskoe, sent this very interesting article on “The Bullying Conundrum” by Jill Anderson published online by Harvard Graduate School of Education. October 1, 2012 Here is an interesting interview with Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed” and others. September 28, 2012 David Brooks, his NY Times column, “The Psych Apporach” talks about Paul Tough’s book, “How Children Succeed” and social-emotional learning. Mr. Brooks suggestion at the end of his column is something all SEL4MA members should consider as our approach to advance the SEL agenda. “When you look over the domestic policy landscape, you see all these different people in different policy silos with different budgets: in health care, education, crime, poverty, social mobility and labor force issues. But, in their disjointed ways, they are all dealing with the same problem — that across vast stretches of America, economic, social and family breakdowns are producing enormous amounts of stress and unregulated behavior, which dulls motivation, undermines self-control and distorts lives. Maybe it’s time for people in all these different fields to get together in a room and make a concerted push against the psychological barriers to success.” August 31, 2012 “Effective and Resilient Schools: An Integrated Approach to School-Based Mental Health” , Friday, Sept 14, 2012, 12:30 – 3:30 PM @ the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology at One Wells Avenue in Newton, MA. The speaker will be Kevin Dwyer, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist with over 30 years experience as a practitioner, who now works as a consultant for the American Institutes for Research. He is a former president of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and a recipient of the NASP Lifetime Achievement Award. August 12, 2012 If you want to see what is going on in the SEL world, go to Google Alerts and type in “social-emotional learning” and you can keep up to date on what is happening in the English-speaking world. July 25 On August 22 and 23, from 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM, the Newton Partnership of the Newton Public Schools is holding a FREE seminar entitled, “Safe for All: Creating Healthy Environments to Achieve School Success.” These are two separate seminars, a day long each, although you can attend both days. Here is the link. July 12 There are spaces available for a program brought to you by the Lexington School District progam called the Aware Teacher on July 17 and 18. If you are interested, please contact Len Swanton ( July 5 From the June 28, 2012 CASEL newsletter: Bipartisan Support for SEL in Congress Conventional wisdom suggests that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, or No Child Left Behind) will have to wait until after the November elections. Nevertheless, CASEL and our collaborators have been actively monitoring progress on the various ESEA bills that have been introduced thus far and maintaining high visibility for social and emotional learning. SEL has gained bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and is mentioned in five draft pieces of legislation or the report language that accompanies them. CASEL will continue to be involved in federal policy activities as the political season progresses. We will keep you informed about opportunities to provide information and support to advance our collective efforts for social and emotional learning in the national education agenda. July 2, 2012 It is a two-part article that recently appeared in the Huffington Post, focusing on the Safe and Supportive/trauma sensitive schools movement in Massachusetts (and also Washington State), highlights some of the work of the Brockton Schools, and addresses the Safe and Supportive Schools legislation H1962 as an example of the pioneering work in Massachusetts. Here are the links to: part 1 and part 2. June 26, 2012 A concise overview of SEL for an “elevator” speech about SEL in this blogpost June 11, 2012 Word from one of our members is the “Activiting Empathy Competition” at Changemakers offers a Massachusetts choice, Opening the Door to Parents is a Cambridge MA organization. Read and vote here. May 15, 2012 American Institutes for Research have a surveymonkey for students to evaluate SEL skills. It is specifically for the Chicago Public Schools as one of eight federally funded (Collaborative Districts Initiative) distircts focusing on SEL. See the survey here. May 3, 2012 There is an upcoming conference sponsored by the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association on May 11, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham. The presenter is Dr. Maurice Elias, who is a founding member of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning ( and he is presenting on “Promoting Social-Emotional and Character Development: Rationale and Best Practices.” More information about the conference is available at Apirl 23, 2012 The Kansas Board of Education has approved the “Kansas Social, Emotional and Character Development Model Standards“. This approval puts Kansas and Massachusetts in the same position of having districts develop the will to implement these standards, but also finance training and change pre-service requirements for new teachers to include SEL. More information to come on the Kansas model. April 20, 2011 Responsive Classroom has named a new director to replace Roxanne Kriete, SEL4MA member and Executive Director of Responsive Classroom for 26 years. Her name is Dr. Lora Hodges and she has had over two decades of educational leadership experience. We in the SEL community welcome her. You can read more here. April 10, 2012 For the first time ever, both houses of Congress have included social and emotional learning in drafts of the federal government’s bellwether education legislation. On February 9, Representative John Kline (R-MI), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced the Student Success Act (HR3989). The definition of professional development in the “Student Success Act” states: The term professional development . . . includes activities that . . . advance teacher understanding of instructional strategies that are (I) evidence-based, (II) strategies for improving student academic achievement or substantially increasing the knowledge and teaching skills of teachers, including through addressing the social and emotional development needs of students… Although the overall House legislation is controversial and will not likely pass in its present form, this is an important step in getting social and emotional learning written into the language of the final bill. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee already included social and emotional learning in its version of the ESEA reauthorization bill late last year. From the CASEL newsletter, April 10, 2012 March 30, 2012 There is much to be learned from Charleston’s afterschool SEL program, WINGS. Read about it here. March 28, 2012 Dr. Susan Albers conducts an interesting interview with Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 right here. March 25, 2012 Developing a Universal Screening Tool for Social, Emotional and Behavior Competency from James Cressey of Framingham State is an interesting pdf file to absorb. March 22, 2012 Toledo, Ohio Public Schools released this video of teachers and administrators talking about Social-Emotional Learning and its effect on their school system. March 11, 2012 Jeanne Osgood, former employee of CASEL, has written an article that you can see here that shows how a school foundation raised money based on SEL teaching and benefits. March 10, 2012 Author and international educational consultant Jonathan Erwin, has been a secondary English teacher, staff development specialist, and college professor. Here, he writes about interesting SEL activities such as class meetings, individual activities, and resources to help students gain insight into others’ feelings and learn to attune their behavior to them. February 19, 2012 Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, New York Times Op-Ed, entitled, “Building Self-Control, the American Way” mentions the CASEL study on Page 2, paragraph 3, as proof that “helping children to identify their emotions and think through possible consequences before reacting improves self-control… accelerate school achievement.” Read the Op-Ed here. February 16, 2012 The Mental Health Summit 2012, a conference of 300 government and mental health officials and academics from across Canada, heard Premier Greg Selinger say that costs associated with poor mental health in Canada amount to more than $50 billion a year. Roberts and others believe there are huge potential returns for school-based screening of kids for depression and alcohol misuse and programs to reduce anti-social behaviour. Dr. Glen Roberts, executive director of the Canadian Policy Network at the University of Western Ontario, said, “If you really want the best returns on investment in the area of mental health promotion and illness prevention, it probably should be in the school system,” he said Tuesday. Read more here. January 30, 2012 The Palo Alto Unified School District is having a meeting with Parents about SEL. This is a good example of how our new Speakers’ Bureau can help spread the word about the benefits of SEL. January 14, 2012 New Mexico Pre-K published interesting tips for fostering SEL in the classoom including pictures of people showing different emotions. January 9, 2012 Aspen Colorado elementary school takes “brain breaks” to further social-emotional learning. January 4, 2012 An Oregon State University study has found that a focused program to build social, emotional and character skills resulted in significantly improved overall quality of education. January 1, 2012 There’s a FB page for American Educational Research Association (AERA) that you may wish to look at and “like” which is devoted to SEL research. December 24, 2011 In District Administration, a periodical for “Solutions for School District Management”, there is an interesting article about a November conference where teachers were advised to use social-emotional learning (SEL) to reduce their stress levels and “combat” burnout. The logical next step: pass on the SEL skills they learn to their students. December 23, 2011 On You Tube, a series of videos on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in action and Shelly Berman talking about SEL. December 17, 2011 Kewanee, Illinois students and staff speak at a Raising Student Achievement Conference about how SEL has improved academic test scores and lessesened discipline problems in the school. December 12, 2011 Read about the SEL Alliance of Massachusetts in the latest CASEL newsletter!!! November 25, 2011 “The School Psychologist’s Role in Promoting Social-Emotional Learning November 15, 2011 Harvard Law Students Testify Before Education Committee about Safe and Supportive Schools. September 7, 2011 Daniel T. Willingham is a cognitive pyshcology professor at the University of Virgina who writes an interesting article in his series, “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” which addresses self-regulation. “Can Teachers Increase Students’ Self-Control?” American Educator series July 25, 2011 SEL is included in the 357-page, 2011 State of Black Boston, published by the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. An excellent resource, it represents the combined sponsorship of the Urban League, the Boston Chapter of the NAACP and the Trotter Institute of UMASS Boston. In the introduction, the State of Black Boston states: “Barbara Lewis, director of the Trotter Institute, calls the State of Black Boston report “a workbook for change.” No single organization can effect the needed change. It will take a community-wide effort by existing organizations, perhaps new ones, concerned individuals, and all levels of representative government. Ideally, many will take up the challenge and take responsibility for implementing specific recommended action steps or launching an initiative of their own directed at achieving the same goals. This community-wide effort should not be confined to the Black community. Everyone who lives in the city has a stake in the outcome. A stronger Black Boston will make for a still better Boston.” The SEL article, written by Mitch Lyons, Executive Director of and volunteer member of the Community Advsiory Board for the SOBB, can be found on the middle of page 239 – 243. May 27, 2011 “Bolder, Broader Action: Strategies for Closing the Poverty Gap” by Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville “We have set the nation’s highest standards, been tough on accountability and invested billions in building school capacity, yet we still see a very strong correlation between socioeconomic background and educational achievement and attainment. It is now clear that unless and until we make a more active effort to mitigate the impediments to learning that are commonly associated with poverty, we will still be faced with large numbers of children who are either unable to come to school or so distracted as not to be able to be attentive and supply effort when they get there. In other words, we must create a healthy platform in the lives of all of our children if we expect them to show the learning gains expected to result from optimized instructional strategies.” For the whole article, click here. April 6, 2011

Kindness can be taught; it is being taught

Social and emotional learning helps kindergartners deal with the world

Chicago Tribune Article By Lisa Pevtzow, Chicago Tribune “Since 2003, social and emotional learning has been a legislative mandate in Illinois. Although all districts have a social and emotional learning policy on the books, they are implemented to greater or lesser degrees based on interest and finances. Mine, Glencoe School District 35, is going at it like gangbusters. Each week, my son and his fellow kindergartners, for instance, sit on the floor with their teacher and do exercises that help them to identify emotions (both others’ and their own), solve conflicts and reduce frustration. They also learn not to be bystanders…” (See full article at link) March 29, 2011

Other cities taking steps to deal with violent behavior

Philidelphia Enquirer Article By Susan Snyder Inquirer Staff Writer Around the country, schools are trying to find effective ways to deal with violence among young students. The 47,000-student Cleveland Metropolitan School District almost two years ago instituted a social and emotional learning curriculum in kindergarten through fifth grade. Teachers three times a week instruct students in how to understand their emotions and control their behavior, said Angela Buford Payne, a district spokeswoman. "It teaches them that when something happens that upsets you, stop, think, and calm down, and come up with a plan," she said. The curriculum includes a process called "turtling" in which students are taught to cross their arms over their body and envision themselves withdrawing into a shell when they encounter a threat. They are instructed to stop, breathe, and state the problem. At the end of last school year, 86 percent of teachers said in a survey that classroom behavior and overall environment improved as a result of the program. The curriculum was part of a larger plan by the district to address the social and emotional needs of its students. It was prompted by a 2007 shooting at a district high school in which a student killed himself and wounded two others. (See full article at link) March 8, 2011 The DESE called for input and opinion as to the content of Guidelines for Implementation of an SEL Curriculum K-12 as it considers how to fulfill the mandate of the Legislature to publish the Guidelines by the end of June. At a well-run facilitation conducted by Rachelle Bennett and Ann Gilligan at the DESE on March 8, 2011, those present had interesting comments that are summarized as follows:
  • The most effective programs have the whole school involved;
  • It is important to speak a common language in SEL so the skills are transferrable;
  • Each school should have one program and not mix and match different programs;
  • The community should be involved in a transition to SEL;
  • Programs should be sought that conform to the SAFE standards as defined by CASEL as Sequenced, Active, Focused and Explicit Skill Training;
  • Workshops for parents, offering hints on how to promote SEL at home, should be held;
  • The principal of the school must buy-in to an SEL curriculum of the school;
  • Schools have to develop, build and sustain SEL to be effective;
  • Both teachers and students must be learning and practicing together;
  • Once size does not fit each school due to cultural differences and needs of each school;
  • Colleges should have certification of SEL training;
  • Skills must be tangible and not abstract;
  • The curriculum is one piece of the puzzle; instruction in SEL and practicing SEL skills is the other;
  • Outline the benefits of SEL so that teachers and staff know why they are making a change to SEL;
  • Give districts web resources such as for evidence of effectiveness;
  • Encourage specific curricula that target violence and addictions because 22% of the state budget addresses just these two issues.
February 22, 2011 Newswise Article The NoVo Institute, operated by the Buffett family, has donated $2M to sponsor a chair at University of Illinois at Chicago for further research into Social-Emotional Learning. January 7, 2011 StudentsFirst Article From StudentFirst in Arkansas comes this article about 10 things parents can do in their homes to improve social-emotional learning. December 12, 2010 Kimberly Hacket Blog An interesting blog from Kimberly Hacket of Cambridge, MA November 17, 2010 SEL Skills for Life Rolls Out in Two Ohio Districts CASEL is partnering with Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility and the Inner Resilience Program to assist the Youngstown and Warren City School Districts in Ohio in developing sustainable district-wide implementation of social and emotional learning. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is also collaborating as evaluators of the project. Skills for Life is funded by a grant from the US Department of Education and sponsored by Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio. The program is intended to serve as a model for system-wide implementation of social and emotional learning at the district level. This approach to SEL implementation has been championed by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and supported with federal funding to improve the quality of life and learning in the area. "It's about making sure we are cultivating healthy and compassionate young people. It's about helping children develop an inner compass, a touchstone, that will help them navigate the rough waters of childhood, and then adulthood, in America. Social and Emotional Learning is a transformative strategy that needs to be an integral part of every child's education." Through this project and evaluation of it by AIR, CASEL will gain additional experience in district-wide implementation through a partnership model. "What is happening in Warren and Youngstown--integrating a research-based SEL program for students with an evidence-based model of transformational professional development for the adults in children's lives--is key to ensuring long-term sustainability and expansion of this work," said Linda Lantieri, founding board member of CASEL, who is helping to lead this effort with CASEL. From the Chicago Tribune:

Beyond book learning: Schools teach social and emotional skills

Chicago Tribune Article (in full) October 05, 2010|By Bonnie Miller Rubin, Tribune reporter In Lauren Topazian's fifth-grade classroom, the walls are covered with artifacts of ancient civilizations. But today she is asking her students to put themselves somewhere far less exotic: in their classmates' shoes. The youngsters are acting out scenarios that call for offering friends a little extra support — such as when a pal loses an art contest or is the target of a rumor. The role-playing speaks volumes about the culture at Cossitt School in La Grange, where thinking about how your behavior affects others is as much a part of the day as reading and math. "You can't just assume kids know how to show kindness or resolve conflict," said Principal Mary Tavegia. "You've got to give them the tools as soon as they walk in the door."