This Month in SEL [Jan. 2019]

A curation of headlines, research & insights from the past month.

Hello and welcome to 2019! This month in SEL: the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development releases their final report and recommendations, an Illinois school district explores the impact of positive psychology on student success, a new record high in demand for SEL in U.S. schools, and more.

Come across any interesting news lately? Share an article and you might see it included in next month’s newsletter!


The National Commission on SEAD Releases Final Report 

On January 15, 2019, the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development released their final report and accompanying recommendations. Drawing on input from more than 200 scientists, youth and parent groups, educators, and policymakers, the Commission’s final report, “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope,” seeks to accelerate and strengthen efforts to support the whole learner in local communities through recommendations for researchers, educators, and policymakers.

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How Positive Psychology Can Improve Student Success

An Illinois school district uses a program that encourages a positive outlook to boost academic performance. Leveraging new research on the beneficial impact of happiness, each school in the district is piloting a number of innovative programs to prioritize the wellbeing of the “whole student.”

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The Benefits of Mindfulness Education to School System Include Better Learning

According to Dr. Addie Wootten, over the last 5 years, support for mindfulness programs in curriculum has grown significantly among Australian educators. Wootten tells C.M. Rubin, Founder of CMRubinWorld, that while interest from individual teachers is important, research indicates an entire school participating in mindfulness techniques will “positively affect students, the culture and climate of the school, and teacher wellbeing.”

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Record High Demand for SEL Learning in US Schools

Education Week recently published survey results that show extraordinarily high interest in social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula in K–12 schools across the country, from early grades through high school. Separately, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has measured SEL impact of social-emotional learning in K–12 schools and found numerous positive results in some of the country’s largest school districts. 90% of K–12 school district leaders have already invested in social-emotional learning products, or plan to do so over the 2019–2020 school year, according to Education Week’s 2018 survey of 500+ district administrators.

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National School Climate Center Study Highlights School Culture Improvement Efforts

A new report from the National School Climate Center, “Creating School Communities of Courage: Lessons from the Field,” used observation and interviews at six school districts nationwide to highlight some of the most effective practices district and school leaders can use to improve school climate and develop social-emotional learning (SEL).

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