May 2018

Monthly Archives

  • Using Individual Assessments to Support Whole School SEL Interventions: Lessons Learned

     By: Dr. Gil G. Noam, Director, The PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience   The widespread adoption of social emotional learning (SEL) has led to an increased focus on school climate, curricula to help students manage their emotions, and systems that create consistent behavioral expectations within and across classrooms. These so called universal approaches create the psychological foundation of a well-functioning school. As part of a whole-school SEL approach, assessments help schools answer questions like: How do the students and the teachers view their school climate? Do we find consistency across classrooms when we systematically observe behavior systems? What is the parental attitude toward school bonding? For this reason, many of the assessment in the SEL space are oriented […]

  • Leveraging Policy to Support a Data-Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning

    By Bob LaRocca, J.D., Director of Policy and Communications, Transforming Education There’s a palpable, growing urgency to focus on social-emotional learning (SEL) in our schools. Education experts and policymakers recognize that building healthy relationships and responsible decision-making matters to student outcomes, and teachers overwhelmingly acknowledge that SEL is important to learning. Meanwhile, recent “staggering statistics” reveal the high rate at which today’s students suffer from mental illness and trauma – conditions which certain SEL-related practices can work to address. For these reasons and others, more and more educators are seeking to intentionally cultivate learning environments that help students develop socially and emotionally.   This demand for SEL presents a key opportunity for state and local education leaders to take action. Although […]

  • Measuring Social Reasoning in Children: Be Part of a National Norming Study!

    by Nicole Russo-Ponsaran, Rush NeuroBehavioral Center   Millions of children in the United States have social challenges that are related to behavioral and academic difficulties. To address this problem, many states are adopting social-emotional learning standards and schools are implementing programs that teach children how to interact positively with others. Yet, educators have surprisingly few tools available to adequately measure social-emotional skills children directly.   Ever wonder how a child navigates her social world and what makes one student more successful than another?   Using the theoretical social information processing model by Crick and Dodge as its framework, the research team at Rush NeuroBehavioral Center, in partnership with Soar Technology, Inc., developed Virtual Environment for Social Information Processing, or VESIPTM, […]

  • Observational Data to Inspire SEL Practice

    By Charles Smith, QTurn LLC   Over the past decade we have learned a lot about how to use data to transform educational settings and improve student outcomes such as social and emotional learning (SEL). In my experience, “using data to inspire SEL practice” is the right way to think about it. Transformation through inspiration requires circumstances where educators experience both organizational support and positive motivation to demonstrate and/or improve their practice. From a measurement perspective, we’re asking a question about the consequences of producing the SEL data: Do the data inspire teachers and youth workers to demonstrate their best practices or to work on improving them? For obvious reasons, much of the action in the field of SEL measurement […]

  • Sorting Through Positive Development Frameworks

    By: Katherine M. Ross, Ph.D., Clark Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development, Virginia Commonwealth University Patrick H. Tolan, Ph.D., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia   The shifting interest from the longstanding deficit orientation to how healthy, effective development occurs has generated renewed excitement for education, health and wellbeing.  In this new approach, four major frameworks have emerged:  Social Competence, Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Youth Development, and Positive Psychology.  Surprisingly, the literature, contributors, and consumers of each framework have developed with little cross-fertilization.  Within frameworks and among adherents of each, programs, key concepts, and implications for promotion of positive development and prevention of youth problems have been produced separately.   How similar are these approaches and are there meaningful distinctions in how, […]