Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Social Emotional Curricula

In my 5 years experience within SPS I think we've seen five different social emotional curriculum, from Kelso to Roots of Empathy to RULER etc.  Some are more narrow and focused purely on reducing bullying. Others aim more broadly and attempt to increase executive functioning and help kids process the various emotional stresses of school.

So how are the programs working for your kids?

  • Is bullying an issue and has your  curriculum helped?
  • Have you seen personal benefits to your kids?
  • Are there different strategies you'd like to see the schools follow?


Sunita Gandhi said...

What an awesome post! Thank you!
Global Curriculum, Innovative Curriculum

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how social-emotional and curriculum go together. Social-emotional learning is not fact based. I don't see how it can come from anything other than authentic mentoring from the teacher.

Everything I've seen is BS, in theory and in practice. I'd like to see the staff implement social-emotional learning among themselves before trying to teach it to other human beings.

They could start by clarifying their own thoughts on:
1. Do you or don't you support students standing up for their own needs? Teachers walked out on strike. Do you support students walking out of your class if it is ineffective?
2. The adult world is full of bullies on the playground. How do the teachers handle it among their own? From what I can tell, many cave to the whims of the principal or other SPS leadership. Do you support students caving to their peers?
3. Teachers routinely misidentify both learning struggles and learning capacities in young students until it is too late to make meaningful change. Why isn't this aspect of social-emotional expression considered an essential professional competency?


S Dad

Anonymous said...

Most of this stuff is a joke. My favorite example is my son's experience at Lincoln with "self esteem circles". Groups of kids circled up and took turns giving each other compliments to boost everyone's self esteem. In reality, the kids saw through this immediately, as the positive comments may or may not have been true, were forced to happen and were completely disconnected from any actual behaviors. The only self esteem I think this improved was the idiot's who dreamed this activity up.

Focus on Academics

Anonymous said...

@ Focus on Academics - I agree fully.

The research clearly reveals that self esteem is ONLY built through competency in life's tasks. For a student, this translates to competency in schoolwork. Memorizing multiplication tables builds self-esteem more effectively than compliment circles.

SPS likes to claim it is "data driven." But their social-emotional curriculum is anything but "data driven." Let's be honest and admit it is financially driven by the curriculum creators (who then fund the "data" that they rely on.)

S Dad

Anonymous said...

I have seen this of late with new teachers. This is the waste of money and energy and frankly time. I am amazed at the cost of this program if SPS bought it in earnest which I doubt. They do everything on the cheap. Why not just show Inside/Out and call it day.

I love the power circles and the hand talking that came of age in the Occupy movement. It is all some smoke and mirrors that frankly should not be academics. That should be advisory or a class for credit as modern civics.

The immense waste of money and time on bullying. Another futile program that simply just is a circle jerk.

And yes if the staff at both h/q and in schools could model the same said behavior and expectations then I would take it seriously. When they are paying staff to take a 4 hour course on White Privilege with half the staff of color, women and of course faith and ethnicity not quite the obvious it shows that this is pandering to meet the inquiries by the Justice Department and the issues of due process with children of color.

Sorry but the district doesn't uphold due process with it's own staff. They need a course in hypocrisy.

- Teacher

Maria said...

I cannot believe there is NO one positive comment regarding social emotional education. And this is how we will perpetuate our track record of self absorbed, un-empathetic leaders, in a World that needs the opposite. Social Emotional curriculae can be very well integrated with academics and can be taught for most simultanously. There is ample evidence to show that empathetic people who understand the language of feelings and can take someone else's perspective as well as can regulate their own emotions fare better in life and are happy induviduals. SEL is not only about bullying. Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Such programs may make administrators feel good, but our children found them contrived and somewhat silly. It's not that social/emotional learning is not valuable, but that canned curriculum may not be the best means of learning, nor is school the only place that children can learn such lessons.

Anonymous said...

Civics could be a well placed course that could include many issues that develop the community building skills that all prospective humans need be they leaders or followers. There are more than ample non profit groups from Boys/Girls Clubs to others that also develop said skills, there are Churches and Memberships in Guilds and of course parent(s)

There is a place for learning at school and the social element comes from varying activities there as sports, arts and other clubs and groups. The extra in curricular.

As for bullying lessons and hours spent on those "classes" are akin to testing, wasting more time and possibly doing more harm then good.

Read this article about such http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/10/anti-bullying-programs-could-be-a-waste-of-time/

School is for learning skills and knowledge but making you a better human being well that is not just a school's responsibility.

- Teacher

Anonymous said...

Wow. Understanding the origins of Al Parents bad rep. It ain't K12 grades that will distinguish our kids in their lives. It will be ingenuity and an ability to work with others unlike themselves. The latter is entirely the realm of social-emotional learning.

Further, social-emotional learning must explicitly be taught at schools because not all families offer the lessons explicitly or implicitly at home. Get it through church or Boys and Girls Club or Scouts? Commenters need to spend a little time out of their own worlds and walk a step in communities of poverty and communities newly arrived from other areas of the world. It is a fact that enrichment is a luxury not a basic in households, not to mention those without houses, throughout this district. Are these kids not in your kids' HCC classes? That's an even larger problem.

Wow. Just wow. I guess that's my name for this thread.

"Wow. Just wow."

Anonymous said...

Wow is right. K-12 is really about getting them ready for college where kids are mature enough to find what interests them. A well-rounded kid who plays well with others will succeed in college and life.

The obsession with academics starting in the early years doesn't serve kids or society.

That being said, kids need enough work to keep them busy and not bored, but naysaying socio-emotional development is pretty short-sighted.