You are currently viewing The key to a better future for students may be social emotional development, not standardized test scores

The key to a better future for students may be social emotional development, not standardized test scores

Emotional learning has become social Another point of contention for education activists on the right, who accuses him of being a “Trojan horse” for his critical race theory. But research shows that having schools that nurture social and emotional development is important to students’ future success.

Study from the UChicago Consortium for Scholastic Research I looked at how the high school climate and organizational context affected student development and achievement in the short and long term. The study, written by researchers from Union and Northwestern University (Shanet C.

Some of the reported study results:

Effective high schools—those that foster multiple dimensions of student development—improve students’ trajectories in the short and long term.

In other words, if a school begins to focus on factors beyond preparing students for a high score on a state test, students benefit. If a school focuses on students’ social and emotional development, students benefit. This broader focus increases the chance of graduating and attending college within two years.

Social-emotional development is associated with healthy adjustment and positive identity formation. This is where some opponents see a problem; For example, some believe that positive identification It cannot be formed by students who are LGBTQ. or, As one of the parents said“Not everyone deserves respect, sympathy, honesty, kindness, etc. from my children.”

But the study notes that, “For the effect of schools on test scores, the effects of schools on SED were of more or less significant importance for students’ short-term trajectories.” In other words, the focus on social and emotional well-being was more or less beneficial to the students than the focus on test scores.

Effective high schools had climates that were supportive, cooperative, and ambitious

The study found that school climate predicted school effectiveness. Their climate measures included effective leaders, collaborative teachers, engaging families, a supportive environment, and ambitious instruction. Each of these factors predicts school effectiveness on its own.

They found that their measure of school climate was a better predictor of school effectiveness than other measures such as test scores or sites like GreatSchools.

In summary, the study concluded, “When schools embrace SED, students are more likely to thrive in high school and beyond.”

This does not necessarily mean that formal social and emotional learning programs are key; There are many more (and arguably more effective) ways for schools to promote SED than a formal program. But the study is a reminder that school climate, which is, after all, the nature of the world in which students live for part of each school day, matters–perhaps more important than the large standardized tests that have driven school evaluation and education policy the past few decades.

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