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OSPI 2009 Conference Social and Emotional Learning for School and Life Success Sheryl L. Harmer, Ed.D. Dixie Grunenfelder, MBA.

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Presentation on theme: "OSPI 2009 Conference Social and Emotional Learning for School and Life Success Sheryl L. Harmer, Ed.D. Dixie Grunenfelder, MBA."— Presentation transcript:

1 OSPI 2009 Conference Social and Emotional Learning for School and Life Success Sheryl L. Harmer, Ed.D. Dixie Grunenfelder, MBA

2 This workshop will: Provide an overview of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Link SEL to improved academic outcomes and school-wide improvement efforts Illustrate how SEL fits into what you are already doing Outline a plan for implementing SEL in your school Provide resources for on-going support.

3 What do we want for our students? Visualize an ideal school - where optimal learning occurs - where the well-being of children is in balance with academic performance. What would you see? What would you hear? How would you feel? Share with neighbor

4 The Goal of Washington State Education The goal of the Basic Education Act... shall be to provide students with the opportunity to... become responsible citizens, to contribute to their own economic well-being and to that of their families and communities, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives. To these ends, the goals of each school district, with the involvement of parents and community members, shall be to provide opportunities for all students to develop the required knowledge and skills...ESHB 1209, 7/25/93

5 Washington State Learning Goals Read with comprehension, write with skill, and communicate effectively and responsibly in a variety of ways and settings. Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history; geography; arts; and health and fitness. Think analytically, logically, and creatively, and to integrate experience and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems. Understand the importance of work and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities. RCW 28A.150.210


7 How Well Are We Meeting Our Goals? What are you currently doing (within the classroom/ school) to assure that both of these goals are being met? Where is your classroom/school falling short?

8 What Students Tell Us: 2006 WA State Healthy Youth Survey (6th-12th) 25-30% of youth (8,10 &12th grades) felt so sad and hopeless for 2 or more weeks in a row that they stopped their usual activities. 16-32% (6,8,10,12th grades) had been bullied in the past 30 days 8-12% (8,10,12th grades)attempted or made a plan for suicide 9-26% of youth 13-17 engaged in binge drinking

9 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2003 Search Institute 6% of U.S. youth 14-17 years old did not attend school on one or more of the previous 30 days because they felt unsafe Only 29% of students in 6-12 grade thought school was caring & encouraging 7.9% were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property

10 Impact of Trauma on Learning Academic Performance Classroom Behavior Relationships

11 Academic Performance Ability to process oral and written information Memory Understanding cause/effect relationships Identification of emotion Ability to feel empathy Setting goals, developing a plan, and reflecting Transitions Engagement in learning

12 Classroom Behavior Aggression Defiance Withdrawal Perfectionism Hyperactivity and impulsiveness Rapid and unexpected emotional shifts

13 Relationships Lack of trust Difficulty interpreting verbal and non- verbal information Poor sense of self and perspective taking Difficulty identifying emotions Decreased motivation to relate to others

14 Essentials for Learning School Environment + Specific Skill Development

15 Alignment for Success RAISE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IMPROVE CHILDRENS WELL-BEING Improving academic performance by increasing well-being

16 What can schools do? What role can schools play in helping students address issues related to the well-being of students? Discussion

17 What is a Compassionate School? A compassionate school enables children to build caring relationships with adults and peers, self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, achieve in academic and non- academic areas, and be physically and emotionally healthy.

18 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Climate & Connectedness Skills & Competence Recognize and manage emotions Care about and respect others Establish positive relationships Behave responsibly and ethically Handle challenging situations constructively.

19 What is Social & Emotional Learning? social & emotional learning Self- awareness Social awareness Relationship Skills Responsible decision- making Self- management Recognizing ones emotions and values as well as ones strengths and limitations Making ethical, constructive choices about personal and social behavior Forming positive relationships, working in teams, dealing effectively with conflict Showing understanding and empathy for others Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve ones goals

20 SEL Conceptual Framework for Improved Behavior and Academic Performance SEL Instruction Safe, supportive, participatory, environment SEL Skills Attitudes Climate Positive Social Behavior Conduct Problems Emotional Distress Academic Performance

21 Skill Development Inter- Intrapersonal communication Self-regulation Risk assessment Consequential thinking (if-then) Assertiveness Empathy Perspective taking Emotion knowledge

22 Skill Development continued: Attention regulation Goal setting Conflict resolution/ respectful disagreement Negotiation Specific and general social problem-solving Emotion management/ coping Friendship

23 Why Does SEL Matter? Emotions affect how and what we learn Schools are social places - relationships provide foundation for learning Reduces barriers to learning such as stress Increases school connectedness and essential skills Aligns with the academic agenda of schools Critical to success in school and life

24 Social Interaction Our social interactions play a role in reshaping our brain, through neuroplasticity, which means that repeated experiences sculpt the shape, size, and number of neurons and their synaptic connection. By repeatedly driving our brain into a given register, our key relationships can gradually mold certain neural circuitry. In effect, being chronically hurt and angered, or being emotionally nourished by someone we spend time with daily over the course of years can refashion the brain. Daniel Goleman

25 Stress and Learning Strong emotions affect learning and memory Acute or prolonged stress releases hormones that disrupt learning and memory processes High cortisol levels affect the hippocampus-a key learning center in the brain suppress electrical activity decrease efficiency reduce new cell growth. Amygdala over function (acute emotions) can hijack Hippocampus function (memory)


27 Neuroplasticity and Learning The brain responds to environmental factors and produces experience-dependent changes in brain structure and function. The prefrontal cortex acts as a convergence zone for integration of affective and cognitive processes. Qualities such as patience, calmness, cooperation, and kindness are all regarded as skills that can be trained. Richard J. Davidson, University of Wisconsin Waisman Center and Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience

28 Positive Learning Environments Challenging and engaging curriculum Safe, supportive learning community with respectful relationships and trust Evidence-based SEL classroom instruction Infusing SEL concepts throughout the regular academic curriculum Engaging students actively and experientially in the learning process during and outside of school Opportunities for participation, collaboration, and service Involvement of families and surrounding community

29 What Does Research Say? Improvement in: Attitudes (motivation, commitment) Behaviors (participation, study habits) Performance (grades, subject matter)

30 What Does Research Say? Attitudes: Stronger sense of community Higher academic motivation and educational aspirations Better understanding of consequences of behavior Better ability to cope with school stressors Increased positive attitudes toward school and learning

31 What Does Research Say? Behaviors: Participate in class more Demonstrate more pro-social behavior Have fewer absences and improved attendance Show reductions in aggression and disruptions Are on track to graduate and are less likely to drop out Are more likely to work out their own way of learning

32 What Does Research Say? School Performance: Improved math, literacy, and social studies skills Higher achievement test scores (+14%) and grades (+11%) Improved learning-to-learn skills Better problem solving and planning ability Use of higher level reasoning strategies Improvements in reading comprehension

33 Meta-analysis Results 9% decrease in conduct problems, such as classroom misbehavior and aggression 10% decrease in emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression 9% improvement in attitudes about self, others, and school 23% improvement in social and emotional skills 9% improvement in classroom behavior 11% improvement in achievement test scores

34 Results Dependent Upon Full, high quality implementation according to how the program was designed Classroom teachers were the primary implementers (as opposed to researchers) Programs were S.A.F.E.

35 S.A.F.E. S= Sequenced set of activities: step-by- step A= Active forms of learning such as role play and behavioral skill rehearsal F= Focused attention on SEL - at least 8 sessions on skill development E= Explicitly targeted lessons to address clear outcomes

36 Key Components of School- wide SEL Learning Environments Opportunities for participation, collaboration, and service Safe, supportive learning community with respectful relationships and trust Support and validate individual strengths Opportunities for bonding and connectedness

37 Schoolwide SEL continued Emotionally safe and motivating Hold common expectations for adults and students Encourage coaching and mentoring Model empathy and perspective taking

38 Schoolwide SEL continued Curriculum Evidence-based SEL classroom instruction Challenging and engaging curriculum Infusing SEL concepts throughout the regular academic curriculum Involvement of Families and Surrounding Community

39 Integrating SEL into the Regular Academic Curriculum Reading Math Social Studies Science Health Art

40 What Does Schoolwide SEL Look Like? SEL School Classrooms Lunchroom Hallways Teachers Lounge Afterschool/ Extracurriculars Playground Bus Bathrooms Sporting Events Parent/teacher conferences Front Office

41 SEL in Action In what ways is Ben Franklin Middle School preparing students for school and life success through SEL? Learning Environment Curriculum Community Connections


43 Resources CASEL - Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Safe and Sound - CASEL Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning - Teachers College Press Committee for Children - CASEL Implementation Training - Sustainable Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) - (Toolkit)

44 SEL Implementation and Sustainability Process E. Nurture partnerships with families & communities A. Provide ongoing professional development B. Monitor and evaluate for continuous improvement C. Develop infrastructure to support SEL D. Integrate SEL framework school-wide 5. Develop action plan 6. Select evidence- based program 4. Conduct needs and resources assessment 3. Develop and articulate shared vision 7. Conduct initial staff development 8. Launch SEL instruction in classrooms 9. Expand instruction and integrate SEL school- wide 10. Continue cycle of implementing and improving 2. Engage stakeholders and form steering committee 1. Principal commits to school- wide SEL F. Communicate w/stakeholders (marketing) Leadership SEL School-wide

45 Planning for Schoolwide SEL Learning environments Professional development Curriculum Involvement of families and community

46 What is Happening with SEL Nationally? Anchorage Texas New York Illinois

47 No Child Left Behind Under NCLB, schools must establish plans for: Being safe and drug-free Closing the achievement gap Preventing at-risk students from dropping out of school Implementing programs that are research and evidence-based

48 What Employers Want U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration Research Project-Skills employers most look for in potential employees: 1. Learning-to-learn skills 2. Listening and oral communication 3. Adaptability: creative thinking and problem-solving 4. Personal management: self-esteem, goal-setting, self-motivation 5. Group effectiveness: interpersonal skills, negotiation, teamwork 6. Organizational effectiveness and leadership 7. Competence in reading, writing, and computation.

49 The Illinois Social and Emotional Learning: What Students Should Know and Be Able to Do: Goal 1: Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success. Goal 2: Use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships. Goal 3: Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts

50 What is Happening with SEL in Washington State? Representative Mary Lou Dickerson Legislative bills Public-Private Partnership OSPI Compassionate Schools Mental Health Transformation Grant Individual classroom, schoolwide, and district efforts


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