CALIFORNIA’S SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING: GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Adopt Whole Child Development as the Goal of Education — Take a systems approach to promoting student academic, social, and emotional learning, physical well-being, and college, career, and civic life readiness. Name SEL as not a “nice to have,” but a “must have” to ensure student success in school, work, and community. Commit to Equity — All students must have opportunities to build SEL skills and receive an assets-based educational experience that is personalized, culturally relevant and responsive, and intentionally addresses racism and implicit bias. Use practices that build on the existing strengths of students, educators, families, and communities. Build Capacity — Build the capacity of both students and adults through an intentional focus on relationship-centered learning environments and by offering research-based learning experiences that cultivate core social and emotional competencies.
Partner with Families and Community — Maximize the resources of the entire school community, including expanded learning opportunities, early learning and care programs, and family and community partnerships, to advance SEL and student well-being.
Learn and Improve == Adopt continuous improvement practices and use evidence to guide decision-making while aiming to enhance the quality of student social and emotional learning opportunities. Use data to inform improvement of instructional and school practices, not for accountability purposes.
NPR Poll: Eighty-two percent of K-12 teachers say they are concerned about returning to in-person teaching this fall, and two-thirds prefer to teach primarily remotely. When it comes to going back to the classroom, 77% of teachers are worried about risking their own health. The American Federation of Teachers says it doesn’t consider in-person school to be safe unless fewer than 5% of coronavirus tests in an area are positive.
Schools that are infusing character education into their curricula and cultures are seeing dramatic transformations; pro-social behaviors… are replacing negative behaviors. When you walk into a character education school… you find an atmosphere of mutual caring and respect, where students value learning and care about their teachers, classmates, communities, and themselves. (www.character.org.)
Edward DeRoche, Ph.D.
Character Education Resource Center, Director