Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

ALL-STAR TEACHERS PLAY THE SKILLS GAME

  • July 19, 2019
  •    BY Ed DeRoche (Contributor)

by Ed DeRoche, Director, Character Education Resource Center, University of San Diego. 

The 90th annual MLB All-Star Game was played on July 9th at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The American League won the game for the seventh straight year. Players are selected based on their SKILLS by three groups—fan voting, player voting, and the Commissioner’s office.

In schools and classrooms, we call it the SKILLS GAME taught by All-Star Teachers at all grade levels. The “fan voting” includes parents and students. “Player voting” includes teachers and staff. The “commissioner’s” selections are from school and district administrators.

What might you find on a SKILLS SCORECARD?

On one of the older cards, you will find Bloom’s Taxonomy—the “go to game” for thinking skills a few decades ago.

Many of you will remember the SCANS Scorecard, highlighting the need for employee skills in three general areas:
1) basic skills (reading, writing, math, listening, speaking);
2) thinking skills (thinking creatively, making decisions, solving problems, reasoning); and
3) personal qualities such as responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self- management, and honesty.

You may have seen the Business World’s Scorecard where people are talking and writing about “soft skills.”
Like it or not, emotions are an intrinsic part of our biological makeup, and every morning they march into the office (and our schools and classrooms) with us and influence our behavior. Executives are starting to talk about the importance of such things as trust, confidence, empathy, adaptability and self-control.”
Shari Caudron, “The Hard Case for Soft Skills”

Currently we have the 21st-Century Skills Scorecard that includes:
• Ways of Thinking (creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning);
• Ways of Working (communication and collaboration);
• Tools for Working (communications technology and information literacy); and,
• Skills for Living (citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility).

Two skills that cut across all four categories are “collaborative problem solving” and “learning in digital networks.”

The Fortune 500 Companies Scorecard identifies five top qualities these companies seek in employees:
• Teamwork,
• Problem solving
• Interpersonal skills
• Oral communication
• Listening

Another Scorecard offered by the Pew Research Center showed that adults identified several essential skills that were most important for children and youth to learn “to get ahead in the world today.” These included communication skills as the most important, followed by reading, math, teamwork, writing and logic.

There are two other very essential Skills Scorecards. One is on the topic of Emotional Intelligence (ET) and the other is a scorecard that describes Social Intelligence (SI).

You know well the All Star for Emotional Intelligence. Psychologist Daniel Goleman hit a couple of “homeruns” with his books Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, and Working with Emotional Intelligence. His scorecard included such skills as self-confidence, self-awareness, self- control, commitment and integrity.

In discussing emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman cites Peter Salovey, a Yale professor who categorized components of emotional and social skills into five areas:
• Knowing one’s emotions
• Managing emotions
• Motivating oneself
• Recognizing emotions in others
• Handling relationships

The scorecard for Social Intelligence is also revealing and relevant.
Social intelligence [social skills] is as important as IQ when it comes to happiness, health, and success. Empathetic people are less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and addictions later in life. They are also more likely to be hired, promoted, earn more money, and have happier marriages and better-adjusted children.
Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D., Board-Certified Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist

If we increase social skills, we see commensurate increases in academic learning. That doesn’t mean that social skills (including cooperation and self-control) make you smarter; it means that these skills make you more amenable to learning.
Stephen Elliott, Vanderbilt Peabody Education and Psychology Researcher and co-author of the newly published The Social Skills Improvement System.

Lastly, there is the Ten Skills Scorecard from the work of Stephen Elliott and Frank Gresham who surveyed over 8,000 teachers and examined 20 years of research in classrooms across the country. They identified these top 10 skills that students need to succeed:
• Listen to others
• Follow the steps
• Follow the rules
• Ignore distractions
• Ask for help
• Take turns when you talk
• Get along with others
• Stay calm with others
• Be responsible for your behavior
• Do nice things for others
“Top 10 Social Skills Students Need to Succeed,” Research News
at Vanderbilt University, 9-27-2007

Does this sound like the “skills-game“ teachers are now playing in schools and classrooms? If so, then give these teachers your vote and be sure they are rewarded for being an ALL-STAR.

Ed DeRoche, Director, Character Education Resource Center, University of San Diego. BLOG, July 2019

    • July 19, 2019
  •    BY Ed DeRoche (Contributor)
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