SEL Field Notes | August 9

This newsletter is curated by the American Institutes for Research and CASEL for the MeasuringSEL Collaborator Network and aims to keep you engaged with news, research, and resources relevant to measurement and data in the field of social and emotional learning.
Please let us know what you are reading, doing and seeing in the field that’s worth sharing. Tell us about it


Measurement in Practice
Edutopia: Helping students develop self-regulation
Self-regulation is a skill that takes a long time to learn and may take a lifetime, in truth, to really master. We can get better at it with practice, and our students’ social, emotional, and character development requires that we provide routine opportunities in classrooms and schools for them to work on this skill.

The 74: What’s an emotion scientist? Inside the new concept shaping social-emotional learning
When Nilda Irizarry was a sophomore in her Springfield, Massachusetts, high school, she didn’t raise her hand and she didn’t participate in class discussions. Although she loved learning, she was certain she didn’t fit in. But her teacher Patricia Gardner saw something very different. One day, she pulled Irizarry aside and asked why she didn’t speak up more, because she was such a good writer. Irizarry said that she didn’t feel smart and didn’t want to be embarrassed. “‘No, your ideas are worthy,’” Irizarry recalled Gardner saying. “‘You need to know you can do this.’”


Research and Deep Dives
Education Week: National study shows how a simple ‘growth mindset’ exercise lifted students’ GPAs
Any student’s self-confidence can take a hit at the start of high school. Yet giving students even a brief opportunity to understand and reflect on their mindsets for learning can make them likelier to challenge themselves and improve, finds a new national study in the journal Nature. The study represents the largest experimental evaluation of a mindset intervention to date, covering a nationally representative sample of nearly 12,500 9th graders in urban, suburban, and rural public high schools. It found that two sessions of a 25-minute online task at the start of freshman year could boost students’ grades and willingness to take advanced classes.


Assessment: Counterpoints
The Hechinger Report: Colleges are using big data to track students in an effort to boost graduation rates, but it comes at a cost
When Keenan Robinson started college in 2017, he knew the career he wanted. He’d gone to high school in a small town outside Atlanta. His parents had never finished college, and they always encouraged Robinson and his two older siblings to earn degrees. Robinson’s older brother was the first in the family to graduate. “My parents always stressed how powerful an education is and how it is the key to success,” Keenan said. When Robinson arrived at Georgia State University in Atlanta, he wanted to major in nursing.  During his freshman year, Robinson earned a B average. But the university was closely tracking his academic performance and knew from 10 years of student records that Robinson wasn’t likely to make the cut for the nursing program.

American Enterprise Institute: Social and emotional learning: Research and measurement in 60 seconds (video)
Research can usher in new education initiatives, but only when used wisely. AEI’s Frederick M. Hess offers words of advice, and caution, about relying on research to measure the impact of social and emotional learning.

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