SEL Field Notes | July 26

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.
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Research and Deep Dives
Education Week: How arts teachers are strengthening students’ social-emotional muscles
Guiding students through the bold colors and statements of graffiti art. Teaching them how to blend their voices in song. Arts experiences like these can open students to new ways of thinking. But they can also offer teachers powerful opportunities to develop students’ social and emotional skills. The trick to maximizing that potential, according to a new report, is careful thought and planning. If arts teachers recognize that each “arts practice”—or component of arts instruction—draws on specific social or emotional skills, they can design their teaching to facilitate students’ growth in those skills.

Forbes: Assessing ethical character in college admission
Does how you treat your classmates matter to colleges? According to a growing chorus of educators and researchers, it should. What if you knew you were being assessed on your level of concern for others and the common good? Would this change the way you navigated the maze of high school? Over the last two years, thanks to a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Making Caring Common (MCC) project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has been piloting approaches to assess ethical character in college admission

The 74: The mentor: One year, two teachers and a quest in the Bronx to empower educators and students to think for themselves
Many say teaching is a lonely profession, especially during the first few years. “Teachers are very isolated throughout the day,” said Marla Shelton, a mentor and educator in District 12. “We stay in our classroom and don’t make friends right away.” The 74 spent one academic year documenting two teachers’ journey to see how important mentoring relationships are to the success of a new teacher and if their time together makes a difference in the learning of their kindergartners, an eager, adorable bunch who call one of the country’s poorest zip codes home.

Youth Today: Strengthening social and emotional learning of out-of-school time staff is better for youth
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is all the rage when it comes to supporting youth and young adults. But what about staff and leaders who are asked to support that learning and model those SEL skills? This question is rising to the top of conversations on SEL, and the benefits go beyond the development of youth SEL skills. For example, we know that safe spaces and supportive adults in young people’s lives are associated with better life outcomes for those young people. SEL skills play a critical role in an adult’s ability to create that space and connection.

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