The May 2017 convening of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, and the accompanying site visit and field hearing in Cleveland, Ohio yielded several insights for the successful integration of social, emotional, and academic development in K-12 Education. Some of the insights—including the need for a common language and clear conceptualization of social, emotional, and academic development as well as a policy framework that is sensitive to local contexts—build upon the themes that were raised during the Commission’s Inaugural Convening. The site visit and field hearing allowed the Commissioners to delve more deeply into issues of practice, with strong consensus emerging for an approach that includes both integrating social, emotional, and academic development into various aspects of K-12 education and explicit instruction of social and emotional learning. The critical role of teachers and adult social and emotional competency was also identified as central to full integration.
The Commission’s key takeaways include:
- A common language, a clear conceptualization, and shared understanding are critical in order to integrate social, emotional, and academic development at the school and classroom levels.
- Integrating social, emotional, and academic development and explicitly teaching social and emotional learning is not an either/or; both are necessary for full-scale implementation.
- The policy framework needs to be sensitive to local context and translated readily to corresponding practices.
- Deliberate sequencing and scaffolding of social, emotional, and academic development integration can create the right climate and conditions gradually over time.
- Teachers are central to the full integration of social, emotional, and academic development, and the social-emotional competency of adults is a prerequisite for doing this work well.
- The full integration of social, emotional, and academic development is a significant undertaking for districts and schools, which are faced with multiple demands and limited resources.
To learn more read the full document on the key takeaways.