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Oct 15, 2016 10:03 AM EDT

Promoting Social-Emotional Skills to Boost Students' Learning


Researchers say that nurturing a child's social and emotional skills will boost his academic skills as well as his coping abilities as he faces the challenges and changes in the world around him.

Based on this research, a lot of advocacy groups are promoting that the development of children's social and emotional skills to advance the mission of public schools that goes outside the bounds of traditional education. By teaching students social and emotional skills, they will be more in tuned with their own emotions, build more meaningful friendships, and be able to persevere in the face of adversity.

Through the collaboration of the Aspen Institute and the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, a national team composed of teachers, researchers, and leaders in various sectors of the society, was establish to spearhead the training of teachers on how to teach these skills to the students.

"I do think we are at a unique moment where parents are asking for this, educators are asking for this, employers are asking for this, and science is telling us we need to do this," said Ross Wiener, the executive director of the education and society program at the Aspen Institute.

Advocacy of teaching social-economic skills to children become much stronger after the Every Student Succeeds Act had been passed. One of the requirements of ESSA is to create an additional indicator in school accountability systems to go hand in hand with traditional ones, such as test scores.

However, educators and experts have no idea yet what to call these set of skills and traits. This poses a challenge in creating a set of uniform recommendations. In order to come to such point, the group agrees that they have to take deliberate steps in order to identify the gap that needs to be filled. That gap, they said can be found between what is already known and what is done.

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