How School Leaders Can Respond to Pushback Over Social-Emotional Learning

Summary: This article makes several suggestions as to how school leaders can deal with the pushback that some schools and districts are experiencing over social-emotional learning. Understanding how parents actually feel about the skills that fall under the SEL label is an important part dealing with these issues. Opening lines of communication with parents before there is conflict is also a positive strategy to take. Other suggestions are offered as well.

Source: Arianna Prothero, Education Week, April 13, 2022

Description: “Interest in social-emotional learning is surging as many parents and educators are concerned about the long-term effects of the pandemic on kids’ social skills. But at the same time, SEL is also facing increased pushback as the concept has gotten caught up in debates and legislative bans over teaching about “divisive” topics such as racism and sexuality. It’s a development that has caught educators off-guard and put some school districts on the defensive. “I think that you have to generate buy-in for things that you do within a school community early, and I think educators know that,” said Andrea Lovanhill, the chief executive officer of the nonprofit Committee for Children, which provides curriculum and professional development for social-emotional learning. “But sometimes it can feel like you’re a little bit blindsided if you didn’t know something could be contentious at all.”

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