By: Dale A. Blyth, Consultant
Earlier this year we asked members of the ever-growing Collaborator Network (join here) to do a survey about what frameworks they know about and use as well as the ways they use them. Over 200 of you responded and here is what you told us (while this, of course, is not a representative random sample, we believe it is helpful).
Of the 32 frameworks we explicitly asked about, only six were known by a majority of responders – Emotional Intelligence, the CASEL 5, Habits of Mind, KIPP’s 7 Character Strengths, the Partnership for 21st Century’s 21st Century Learning Skills, and the Department of Education’s Employability Skills. For each of the other 26 frameworks a majority indicated they had never heard of it. Only 4 frameworks we asked about were reported as used by more than 20% of respondents – Emotional Intelligence (58%), CASEL 5 (47%), Habits of Mind (24%), and Employability Skills (24%). Of these, only two were selected by more than a quarter of respondents as the framework “you MOST use to drive your work as a practitioner or with practitioners” – Emotional Intelligence (31%) and the CASEL 5 (28%).
Based on these respondents (who are likely better informed than many), while there are a large number of frameworks in our field, most are not even known – let alone used – by a majority of people.
When asked how they used the framework they selected, a clear majority indicated they used it in each of the following six ways:
- Shaping training and professional development efforts (71%)
- Designing programs, curriculum, and activities (69%)
- Talking with stakeholders to whom you are accountable (67%)
- Selecting or designing what to measure (65%)
- Working with students and providing them feedback (62%)
- Talking with families and communities (60%)
While these are not the only way frameworks are or can be useful (and respondents listed a number of other ways), it appears frameworks are used in a variety of ways rather than in one particular way.
We also asked about the extent to which “multiple frameworks and language issues” have been challenging or beneficial in six different ways. Sixty percent indicated it was challenging when trying to communicate with stakeholders while 27% actually said it was somewhat or very beneficial. Roughly 55% of respondents said it was challenging 1) when working to integrate existing efforts, 2) deciding what to measure, and 3) when selecting which framework language to use. Two statements were rated as much more a balance of challenges and benefits – when selecting specific SE competencies on which to focus (49% saw this as a challenge and 36% saw it as beneficial) and when shaping professional development (43% saw this as a challenge and 38% saw it as beneficial).
Finally, we asked people which of 7 alternatives best describe how they “have actually dealt with multiple framework and language issues” in their work as or with practitioners. Responses were varied widely. Thirty percent indicated they “selected a single framework and use it to drive our work;” 26% said they “selected their own set of specific social emotional competencies;” 25% indicated “they developed consensus about which framework to use,” and 20% “created their own framework to use.”
Now is your chance to tell us about your experiences figuring out which framework to use or using one in your practice! We are interested in everything from brief descriptions of an experience you had to examples of how you figured out what framework to use, or what you wish would happen to make frameworks more usable in your work. In order to capture your stories, please just CLICK HERE and tell us about your experience. We are hoping to use some examples in a series of briefs about SEL frameworks that are being prepared for release this fall.
What challenges have you faced or overcome?
Disclaimer: The Assessment Work Group is committed to enabling a rich dialogue on key issues in the field and seeking out diverse perspectives. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Assessment Work Group, CASEL, or any of the organizations involved with the work group.