Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"after school social and emotional learning"

Here is  a program of "after school social and emotional learning" in North Carolina. The important thing here is that schools are becoming aware that children have needs for growth and development beyond academics. The crazy thing is  that social and emotional learning are being addressed as an after school afterthought when they should be the first thought.

Ask a corporate CEO what he is looking for in the employees he would hire, and he will likely mention teamwork, creative problem solving, and personal responsibility (all aspects of social and emotional learning) long before he mentions standardized test scores.  The push for standardized testing often has very little to do with kids. It is a means for taxpayers to apply pressure for maximum effective delivery of content from teachers without regard to children's social and emotional needs. Standardized testing is used as a lever (or club) to hold schools and teachers accountable. In many schools, bullying and other social development obstructions are pushed aside during academic time because the teachers are too busy to address these issues immediately as they arise. That tells the kids what things are important and what not, and of course much of the problem has to do with class size. A teacher with 25 kids in a class can hardly know them, let alone take an interest in the social and emotional issues they face and stick to the script for the delivery of academic content at the same time.

Kids are instructed as to what values are important, by what we give time to and take time for in schools. After school is an afterthought, but better late than never?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A certain song lyric comes to mind: "All in all we're just another brick in the wall..."

Mario