Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom | Bite-Sized PD for Educational Equity

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Today’s Bite-Sized PD for Educational Equity was inspired by:

Why We Can't Afford Whitewashed Social-Emotional Learning

ASCD

Key Statement: Developing our students to lead in the 21st Century requires that educators contextualize Social Emotional Learning within the context of societal inequities. This is what it means to have Social Emotional Learning in the classroom. 

What does it mean to teach Social Emotional Learning within a socio-political context?

This requires educators to confront issues of power and privilege in the classroom. Teaching SEL within a socio-political context allows students to holistically engage with society as victims, students, and change agents.  SEL allows educators to simultaneously tend to the emotional needs of their students while preparing them to create a more just world.

Justice, Fairness, Community, Friends, Globe

Justice by Geralt

Top Five Takeaways for Equity in Education

Here are five ways to teach Social Emotional Learning in the classroom by connecting  SEL competencies with socio-political realities. These examples are taken from Dena Simmons’s article referenced above.

  1. Classroom Discussions - an opportunity for students to reflect on their co-existing identities in relation to equity to develop Self Awareness (e.g., privilege).
  2. Debate - an opportunity for students to learn to disagree without canceling one another as a way to develop Relationship Skills (e.g., immigration laws).
  3. Community-Based Projects - an opportunity for students to design solutions that create positive community change to develop Responsible Decision-Making (e.g., planting a community garden to address access to healthy foods).
  4. Current Events - an opportunity for students to research issues of injustice from the perspective of those most impacted to develop Social Awareness (e.g., killing of unarmed black men by police).
  5. Social Identity - an opportunity to understand how societal expectations based on intersectional identities perpetuate oppressive systems to develop Self Management (e.g., implicit bias).

Do Now - Use SEL as a way to teach students how to engage societal inequities in emotionally healthy ways.

Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom


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