Happy National SEL Week!
Mar 10, 2023
Last month, a study co-written by Dr. Dena Simmons of LiberatED SEL was published. The piece, “Not try to save them or ask them to breathe through their oppression”: Educator perceptions and the need for a human-centered, liberatory approach to social and emotional learning,” raises important questions about how we conceive of and teach SEL.
- Often, SEL programs are introduced to educators without their input or buy-in. Educators should be included as partners in the creation and implementation of SEL programs (3).
- SEL is not merely a checklist of skills, but a dynamic and dialectic process. SEL is both content and pedagogy, a means to connect with identity exploration and development (6).
- Intentional, humanizing SEL leads to stronger communities. “One person simply stated that, ‘[SEL] is radical humanity wrapped in love and care.’” (7)
- SEL that is “neutral” or “universal” ignores the reality of systemic oppression and further marginalizes Black and Brown students. SEL that honors students’ unique backgrounds and perspectives can deepen learning (8).
- The 5 core competencies put forward by CASEL cannot be applied in a “one-size fits all” model and is in opposition to both differentiated instruction and culturally responsive pedagogy. Educators must be adaptive and flexible (10).
At the same, CASEL just released a comprehensive study about school-based SEL programs, praising a “universal approach,” What We Know, and What We Need to Find Out About Universal, School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Programs for Children and Adolescents - CASEL
Our approach to SEL is deeply rooted in anti-racism. DEISEL Anti-Racist SEL Approach.png
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