Committee for Children Blog

Three Misperceptions about SEL

The potential inclusion of an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that incorporates both a definition and a specified funding source for social-emotional learning (SEL) has me thinking about SEL often. Foremost in my mind is how to clear up misconceptions about what SEL really is. Talking with senatorial staff on the Hill, friends, and family members about the hopes for federal legislation changes and the importance of SEL for social and academic success both in school and in life, I learned that SEL is not widely understood.… Read More


SEL in the ESEA: Committee for Children and Friends in Washington, DC

On May 14, 2015, we were lucky to be joined in Washington, DC, by social-emotional learning (SEL) leaders from around the country to lobby their U.S. Senators. What was the ask, you ask? We want the Senate to include social-emotional learning in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, formerly No Child Left Behind).… Read More


Inclusion of SEL in the Reauthorization of the ESEA:

Do you believe students need to learn how to persevere in the face of challenges and develop lifelong skills to cope with life’s challenges? Do you believe students need support in becoming safe, caring, respectful, and responsible members of the community? Have you benefited from increased classroom instructional time because of less time spent helping students who cannot independently manage difficult or emotionally charged situations? Do you wish you had more resources to support these needs in your school or district? If so, keep reading…

 

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Welcome Wave of Change: Positive Discipline and SEL in Schools

I bet you can easily conjure up an image of a school teacher rapping the knuckles of a naughty girl with a ruler. Or a principal paddling the bottom of a boisterous boy. For a long time, this was how students were disciplined in school. They were physically punished with rulers, straps, paddles, or hands. Or shamed by being made to stand in the corner, wear a dunce cap, or write lines on the board. Perhaps you think these harsh, punitive discipline practices are a relic of a past, something we now only see in old movies or on episodes of The Simpsons. But in 19 states it’s still legal to use corporal punishment in schools.1 And since the late 1980s, zero-tolerance policies have resulted in thousands of students being excluded from schools, their right to an education stripped away for infractions sometimes as minor as chewing gum.

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Promoting Mental Health Through SEL

Youth mental health has been receiving increased attention in the past several years. Data suggests there are large numbers of children struggling with significant mental health difficulties that affect their success in school and life. So what is mental health? Why is it important to continually support children’s mental health? How does social-emotional learning (SEL) relate to mental health?… Read More


back to school

Create a Safe and Supportive School with SEL

By Tonje Molyneux

It’s that time of year again. Kids are heading back to school after a summer off. It’s time to buckle down and get back to the business of learning, but are they ready? What kind of learning environment do students need to be ready to learn?

Safety and support are important for learning…

In answer to that question, research points to a safe and…… Read More


We Are the Champions: Parent Support of SEL Programs

As a parent of elementary-aged children, I’m always finding myself ruminating over issues that, pre-kids, I never knew existed. For example: the importance of whether and how our school rolls out new and sensitive programs about such hot topics as drugs and alcohol, puberty, or bullying prevention. … Read More


Set Yourself Up for Implementation Success

By Kim Gulbrandson

When essential elements of effective implementation are in place, the results can be powerful. Social-emotional learning (SEL) can thrive in environments where stakeholders are committed to sharing responsibility for supporting implementation and where there is shared vision and leadership around social-emotional and academic success for all students. But successful and sustained implementation of any curriculum can be challenging at times…… Read More