America’s schools have been caught up in a testing mania for,
well, most of the 21st century.
It’s long past time,
that we focused on a healthier vision of good
schooling – not just reading and math,
but also character, responsibility, good citizenship.
The push for social and emotional learning
or SEL can help with all of this.
That’s why I was pleased to see
the influential Aspen Institute recently released
a consensus report from its national panel on SEL.
I was less pleased to see that the consensus was mostly banalities,
and downright disappointed to see it filled with the ideological
gobbledygook of education school progressivism.
Talk of character and personal responsibility was conspicuous in its absence.
We all want schools to be more focused on
character and all the needs of our kids,
but real consensus will require honoring traditional values,
not just progressive enthusiasms.
If SEL winds up hijacked by well-meaning ideologues,
a promising cause will morph into a divisive.
What do you think about social and emotional learning?
Let us know in your comments.
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