“I have no doubt that the survival of the human race depends at least as much on the cultivation of social and emotional intelligence, as it does on the development of technical knowledge and skills.”
— Linda Darling-Hammond (Stanford Graduate School of Education & CEO of the Learning Policy Institute)
The question of how students learn and develop has been at the forefront of national discourse for decades. From standardized testing to STEM, educators, administrators, parents, politicians, consultants, and researchers have long debated what it takes to support students’ growth and academic achievement.
For the past several years, the topic of social-emotional learning (SEL) has rapidly gained momentum (and recognition) as a crucial component of student success. An extensive body of rigorous research points to the benefits of including social and emotional skills (such as persisting through failure, showing empathy for others, and honing problem-solving skills) as part of a child’s educational experience — from greater academic achivement to improvements in mental health to future career success.
These findings — in conjunction with major reports issued by organizations such as Boston Consulting Group, The World Economic Forum, and The Aspen Institute — have sparked a movement, leading to a heightened importance placed on the integration of social and emotional learning into early childhood curriculums, to the point at which federal legislation has been passed in many states to create K-12 standards in SEL and increase funding for such programs. Momentum is building across the country for schools and communities to empower individuals to develop the social, emotional, and acadmic skills that are necessary for success in school and in life.
Today, I am launching this blog as a platform to explore the growing conversation around social-emotional learning and to share information, inspiration, and news from the world of SEL. In addition to curated content, monthly updates and original thought pieces, Inside SEL will feature interviews with leaders in education from across the country, highlighting both the successes and setbacks that schools and communities grapple with as they strive to develop the whole student.
My goal is for this blog to serve as a megaphone; to amplify the great work already being done by leaders across the country. By providing a central location for sharing news and insights, I hope that Inside SEL will help to initiate more meaningful conversations about how to enhance learning for all students.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, and please don’t hesitate to share your feedback, ideas, or questions.