- An online tool designed to assess social emotional learning among students in kindergarten through third grade, SELweb, has given many districts a way to measure progress directly — even though there are concerns about over-testing and some challenges with the actual technology.
- EdSurge reports the SELweb assessments are designed to work in tandem with other social-emotional curricula and offer a way to measure progress through a variety of tasks, including asking students to identify facial expressions to measure social awareness or tracking how long students will persevere through frustrating tasks as a measure of self-control.
- Reports include scores for each student in emotional recognition, perspective-taking, self-control and problem-solving, and teachers can also ask students to report who in the class they’re close to, providing information about social isolation.
The importance of social-emotional learning has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. After years of ignoring untested skills because of the pressures of No Child Left Behind, many schools are adopting social-emotional curricula with multiple goals. Supporting student acquisition of skills like self-control and problem-solving will certainly help them be successful in life after high school, but it will also give them the skills they need to focus in class today.
While much of the focus on social-emotional learning is forward-thinking, many schools acknowledge its benefits for academic achievement. The two skillsets are closely intertwined and move students forward together. Teachers are finding that investing class time on SEL can translate to returns that actually increase the number of instructional minutes spent on task.