K-12 Education

National Commission February Newsletter

February 1, 2018  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

National Commission Releases ‘How Learning Happens’ Interim Report

The National Commission’s interim report, “How Learning Happens: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development,” captures six key lessons the Commission has learned to date on how schools and communities can effectively support students’ comprehensive development. It also outlines the questions the National Commission will address in 2018. The report is a milestone in the Commission’s two-year effort to engage communities nationwide on this issue. Thus far, national media outlets such as US News & World Report and NPREd, as well as education-specific outlets including Education WeekEdSourceEducation Dive, and Politico Morning Education, have written about the report.

“How Learning Happens” highlights voices from across the Commission affirming the important role that social and emotional development plays in student learning and articulating the need for supporting students’ comprehensive development in schools and communities.

Share Your Thoughts with Us!
The report ends with an open invitation for stakeholders to engage with the Commission in 2018 and provide input to inform its final recommendations in research, practice, and policy. Please answer these three key questions: as.pn/commissionsurvey

For further reading:

Coming Up Next …

  • The Council of Distinguished Educators has developed a set of consensus statements, “The Practice Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development,” which will be released on March 12. Complementing the Council of Distinguished Scientists’ consensus statements that outline “The Evidence Base for How We Learn,” this new report examines the roles that the teacher, classroom, and school environment play in supporting the social, emotional, and academic domains that are essential to each student’s learning.
  • The Youth Commission and Parent Advisory Panel are coalescing their learnings from the past year into Youth and Family Calls to Action, which will be released in April. Each Call to Action will articulate the urgent need for schools and communities to support students’ comprehensive development and identify what youth, parents, and families need from their schools and communities to make this happen.
  • To ensure the research field is also supporting the needs of educators, a steering group of the Council of Distinguished Scientists is drafting a Research Agenda for the Next Generation, which will address critical questions of practice and seek to bridge the gap between research and practice to achieve equitable outcomes for all students. The agenda will be released late this spring.

Staying in the Know

  • Join Council of Distinguished Scientists member Robert Jagers, an Associate Professor and past Chair of the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, for a webinar on “Equity and SEL: What Educators Need to Know and Do,” on Mon., Feb. 5, at 12 p.m. CT. Learn more and register here.
  • Van Overton, a member of the Commission’s Parent Advisory Panel, shared his three takeaways from the Commission’s recent visit to Tacoma, Wash., on National PTA’s One Voice blog.
  • Washington Post article from 7th grade language arts teacher Justin Parmenter reminds us that education is a human endeavor, not a business transaction.
  • In an op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Gregg Behr argues that educators need to focus on developing the whole student, rather than just ‘teaching to the test.’

Partner Updates and Conferences

  • Commission Co-Chair Tim Shriver was the keynote speaker at Commission Partner ASCD’s Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy. The following day, Commissioners Gene Wilhoit and Ross Wiener engaged the audience of educators and district leaders in conversation about policy opportunities to support the integration of social, emotional, and academic development in student learning.  Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state proclaimed January 2018 Whole Child Month, building upon his 2017 proclamation to the same effect. Other states have passed similar resolutions and are part of ASCD’s efforts to support “whole child education” at the state and local levels.
  • Another Commission partner, the National Governors’ Association, provided an overview of the benefits of social and emotional learning, as well as insight into what can be done at the state level to support this work, in a recent blog post on the topic.
  • Council of Distinguished Educators members Shelley Berman and David Adams and Commission staff member Katie Cour will present on promising practices for systemically supporting the whole student at AASA’s 2018 National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tenn., to be held Feb. 15-17.
  • The 2018 Center for Schools and Communities Social and Emotional Learning conference, “Building Skills for Lifelong Success,” will occur May 9-10, in Harrisburg, Pa. The conference provides professional development opportunities for school administrators, teachers, school psychologists, school counselors, and other professionals who work on behalf of children and youth.  Learn more and register.