Comments (14)

Comment RSS
Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Hi Mike- You can see the

Was this helpful?
0

Hi Mike-
You can see the official page at antiochne.edu/acsr/criticalskills
The unofficial page is:: https://sites.google.com/a/antioch.edu/the-critical-skills-program/

Passionate change agent

Hi Laura. Thanks for your

Was this helpful?
0

Hi Laura. Thanks for your comment. Where can I learn more about your Critical Skills Program?

Regards,
Mike

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Mike, I totally agree.

Was this helpful?
0

Mike, I totally agree. That's why we designed the Critical Skills Program to be simultaneous to content, not a separate thing. We, like you, believe that SEL has to happen alongside academic learning so that it becomes part of how kids learn to function in the world. (It's funny- we also use the backpack language, but we talk about Critical Skills being a "big backpack" for all the stuff teachers are supposed to be doing like SEL, differentiation, inclusion, formative assessment, etc).

Passionate change agent

Thanks for your insightful

Was this helpful?
0

Thanks for your insightful blog Maurice. I've enjoyed reading each of the comments in the thread.

My biggest frustration is the outside-in nature that exists within many of the current character education programs. In my experience as a classroom teacher, our school would publicly celebrate all of the wonderful things we were doing to address character in the classroom, yet the teachers were simply inundating kids with buzz words like respect, responsibility, and trust.

My aim is to address the "core" of the child through an inside-out process, thus allowing them to own the various principles, much like you would own a tool.

I invite you to read one of my recent blogs about the critical importance of the "emotional backpack".

http://kaleidoeye.com/backpack/

Thank you all for your commitment and passion.

Regards,
Mike

United Way of Northern New Jersey /New Jersey Culture & Climate Coalition

In New Jersey we have formed

Was this helpful?
0

In New Jersey we have formed a coalition of organizations (NJ Culture and Climate Coalition) from throughout the state who are working with schools to address SEL / SECD and culture and climate - the impetus for forming the group came directly from the schools. While out working in schools throughout New Jersey on SECD/SEL and culture and climate we heard over and over again how bombarded and confused the schools are by the inundation of assemblies, workshops, programs and resources available to them to address culture and climate – all using different terminology and a plethora of different acronyms. In the hopes of not ‘jumbling up’ their school house any further -- and in fact, in even greater hopes of helping them ‘un-jumble’ it -- the NJ CCC was formed a little over a year ago. We are a very well-represented, robust group and feel the biggest potential ‘win’ (in addition to not confusing the schools) is the advocacy impact we could have with a cohesive, consistent message regarding the importance of culture and climate – what it is, why it is important, what does it look like. We have made considerable progress and have recently approved a a single definition of culture and climate as well as guidelines for schools including suggested actions on what a healthy school culture and climate should look like. It is great seeing us all working together around a win-win -- we really believe our unified voice will be stronger and will have much greater impact in the long-run.

Thought provoking comments!

Was this helpful?
+1

Thought provoking comments! I think we have to look at the end game and consider when we might feel that we would be able to better solidify the SEL/CE/etc. field. My sense is that we will not get to the point of widespread acceptance without some systematic attempt at convergence, or at least consensual communication. I do agree that we do not want to be limiting. But in some ways, it's like other debates in the public domain now. If there is no standard for what can and cannot be under the banner of SEL/CE/Etc.. then we put all of our work at greater risk than we do by doing what I am suggesting. Again, one approach is to have a series of agreements about how many elements of SEL/CE/etc . different works embody and then individuals can align themselves as they choose. I do trust that those who come together to attempt to resolve the issue will do so in good faith to the most important constituency- children.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

We've been doing SEL work for

Was this helpful?
0

We've been doing SEL work for nearly 30 years at Antioch and one thing we've learned is that we can't be too in love with any specific language. We try to help schools understand the underlying ideas and then we turn them loose to adapt and change our model so that it works for their individual contexts over time. I can't help but think that this is one of the reasons why we're still around and why teachers still say that Critical Skills is the most powerful training- not SEL training, assessment training, instructional training, etc.- they've ever had- whether they were trained 27 years ago or last summer.

So I guess I wonder if it's possible to come to agreement on something like this without boxing out our capacities to be nimble and responsive to changing cultural needs?

Educator and School Counselor / Trinidad School District #1

CASEL's framework:

Was this helpful?
+1

CASEL's framework: http://www.casel.org/social-and-emotional-learning/core-competencies

I agree with Renee and would add that it is important to distinguish standards, core competencies, and programming.

Different populations have different needs, and though competencies or standards can be defined, there must be flexibility in programming.

This is true for common core academic standards, as well.

My main point is that far too many schools pay lipservice to SEL, but have no programming, or at least no comprehensive and effective programming.

It needs to be a priority before effective programming becomes a reality.

Founder and Chief Storyteller at GoStrengths.com

I like the premise of a

Was this helpful?
+2

I like the premise of a common language, common principles, common goals, and unified branding in some part. I like the idea of voices coming together to create strength and coherence in our messaging. CASEL has created a great platform for this type of effort.

That said, we are still in the early stages of gauging the efficacy of programs, efforts, and ideas. Before converging (in a sense), I think it's important to make sure we avoid "groupthink" mentality which could crush some of the innovation the current diversity of programming produces.

Common core standards were developed after decades of teaching various subjects in various ways. We don't have that kind of experience under our belts in the SEL space as of yet. I think many of SEL leaders are changemakers and visionaries--let's not cut these visions short by creating too many standards too early. Let's see what works... let's build off of the ideas of one another, let's come together, yet still let our individual resourcefulness and creativity produce great programs for kids.

I guess I'm suggesting moderation in this idea at this point.

Educator and School Counselor / Trinidad School District #1

I would recommend this

Was this helpful?
0

I would recommend this article: http://edsource.org/today/2013/social-and-emotional-learning-gaining-new...

I think what we are talking about is clear, "common core" standards for SEL. What we need is a clear interface between such standards and the ASCA National Model. What we need are more educational leaders that understand the role of SEL in relation to academic achievement, and who advocate for time and resources to address SEL standards and programming. Thanks for beating the drum.

see more see less