An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning


>>Teacher: How many of you know
a boy or girl here at school who gets picked on and
left out and never included and laughed at all the time?>>Narrator: School can be
a mean and dangerous place.>>Raise your hands high, high.>>Narrator: Evidenced by
headline grabbing tragedies and subtle daily slights.>>Gina, why don’t you shut up?>>Who cares what you think?>>Narrator: Fortunately,
there is growing consensus that teaching social
and emotional skills in school can make a difference.>>Teacher: We’re gonna use it as
a tool to help us solve problems.>>Narrator: And there
are a number of programs, like Resolution Conflict
Creatively, that teach those schools.>>Teacher: — to the room and said, “You’re gonna wear those
old rages to school?”>>Linda: We are talking about a whole
new vision of education that says that educating the heart is as
important as educating the mind. And so it’s about equipping
young people with the kinds of skills they need to both
identify and manage their emotions, to communicate those
emotions effectively, and to resolve conflict nonviolently.>>It’s mine.>>No, it’s mine.>>Narrator: As part of
a school wide effort to create a positive
environment, fourth graders at Brooklyn’s PS Twenty
Four act as peace helpers, teaching younger students
how to handle conflicts.>>Alexus: When the peace helpers
were helping solve the conflict, what did you see the
peace helpers do?>>I’m still learning, ’cause if
I go into sixth grade next year, I need to learn how
to control my anger, ’cause I have a serious
temper problem.>>Daniel: Emotional intelligence
is just a key human skill, but it also turns out that
kids who are better able to manage their emotions,
for example, actually can pay attention better, can take in information
better, can remember better. In other words, it
helps you learn better.>>Narrator: Benefits of social
emotional learning programs include improved academic performance
and attitudes towards school, a reduction in violence, bullying
and other negative behaviors, and an improved school
environment for children and adults.>>Teacher: We’re just
seeing great behavior, so–>>Narrator: As part of a district
wide mandate, schools in Anchorage, Alaska, have adopted comprehensive
social emotional learning curriculum standards.>>Vickie: I’m a curriculum
coordinator, so I am seen in the same office
as the language arts coordinator, the math coordinator, the
health coordinator, et cetera, to show just visually,
politically, everything else, that we are gonna value this like
we value any of our other curricula. A lot of my job is to look at the
already adopted curriculum and say, “Okay, here’s a place where, if I
was teaching this reading lesson, I could also hit this social
emotional learning center at the same time.”>>Teacher: What are some of the
cool headed thoughts he could have?>>Michael: We’re all under the
gun to improve our test results, the academics, but it’s a whole
lot more fun to start focusing on that connection with kids and helping people feel
good about where they are. The other will follow. Our teachers, I think,
are much happier. They like their kids.>>Teacher: Good job, kiddo. Excellent. Practice being cool
headed this weekend.>>Vickie: There’s research out
now that shows that kids involved in intentional social emotional
programs, like we’re trying to do right here, scored on
average ten percent higher on their standardized tests. So what are we giving up? We’re giving up, you
know, higher referrals, we’re giving up violence
in our schools. What are we getting? Kids who come to school because
they wanna come to school, and kids who know how to act
when they get into the schools. And hopefully, kids who
will go into their futures with a better chance at success.>>Student: Gina, I would like
to keep on being friends.>>Teacher: And freeze,
all right, yeah. Nice job. [applause]>>For more information on what works in public education
go to edutopia.org

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