- The Aspen Institute has launched the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development to promote a new vision for success in schools that takes social-emotional learning into account.
- EdSource reports the commission will take advantage of research that has captured the minds of educators with evidence that a positive school environment reduces behavior issues, and social emotional learning helps prepare students for success — both academically and otherwise.
- As states are creating school accountability systems that incorporate measures of success outside of academics, the commission will help bring proven social-emotional skill-building methods into classrooms nationwide.
Students who learn how to control their emotional reactions, reflect on the causes of their behavior and focus are necessarily better equipped to pay attention in class and take in new information. While a pure goal of social emotional learning is to give students the skills they need to live in the world, an additional benefit is that academic performance is likely to go up as students make progress in the social-emotional realm.
In Chicago, a study by the Erikson Institute is measuring mindfulness interventions in public schools and specifically assessing their impact on classroom performance. While mindfulness exercises seem like they take away instructional minutes, teachers are already reporting, anecdotally, they have longer to spend on lessons because students are on task for more of the day.