Jun 16, 2018 by

“Why Teaching and Grading Social Emotional Learning Is a Very Bad Idea in Our Schools”

From Donna Garner



Here is a list of very serious concerns about Social Emotional Learning (SEL) being utilized in our schools (Excerpts taken from — 2.7.18 — “What Is So Great About Social Emotional Learning?” — By J. R. Wilson – Truth in American Education https://truthinamericaneducation.com/social-emotional-learning/great-social-emotional-learning/


Social Emotional Learning

  • Social emotional learning (SEL) standards, benchmarks, learning indicators, programs, and assessments address subjective non-cognitive factors.


  • Subjective non-cognitive factors addressed in SEL programs may include attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, emotions, mindsets, metacognitive learning skills, motivation, grit, self-regulation, tenacity, perseverance, resilience, and intrapersonal resources even though programs may use different terminology.


  • The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to promote or develop social emotional standards, benchmarks, learning indicators, programs or assessments.


  • Promoting and implementing formal SEL program standards, benchmarks, learning indicators and assessments will depersonalize the informal education good teachers have always provided.


  • Teachers implementing SEL standards, benchmarks, learning indicators, programs, and assessments may end up taking on the role of mental health therapists for which they are not professionally trained. SEL programs should require the onsite supervision of adequately trained professional psychologists/psychotherapists.


  • Social and emotional learning programs take time away from academic knowledge and fundamental skills instruction.


  • SEL programs may promote and establish thoughts, values, beliefs, and attitudes not reflective of those held by parents and infringe upon parental rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children.


  • Informed active written parental consent should be required prior to any student participating in any social emotional learning program or assessment through the school system.


  • Sensitive personally identifiable non-cognitive data will be collected on individuals through SEL programs.


  • The collection and use of subjective non-cognitive individual student SEL data may result in improper labeling of students. This data will follow individuals throughout their lifetime with the potential for unintended use resulting in negative consequences.


  • Concerns have been expressed that SEL programs and collected data may potentially be misused with a captive and vulnerable audience for indoctrination, social and emotional engineering, to influence compliance, and to predict future behavior.


*Link to PDF of this anti-SEL list:  https://truthinamericaneducation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/sel-bullets.pdf



6.14.18 – “Yet Another Billionaire Philanthropist Throws Money at SEL” – TAE — https://tinyurl.com/y73bska4

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  1. Barb

    “Social and emotional learning programs take time away from academic knowledge and fundamental skills instruction.”

    No kidding! How deceptive! Do parents know about this? After all, parents IMAGINE their kids are learning basic skills. Now it’s clear why education scores are better in other parts of the world where basic skills ARE taught. It’s this kind of stuff that has parents begging for Charter schools (which often have a questionable agenda and accountable to no one — but neither are public schools for that matter).

  2. Barry Stern

    “Social and emotional learning programs take time away from academic knowledge and fundamental skills instruction.”

    You can always take a good idea and execute it badly, which some schools do. Having a course in SEL that takes them away from academic learning is a waste, to be sure, as is trying to grade students on various SEL components. But the best educators use SEL as a manner of traveling and incorporate “soft” skills into the teaching of “hard” skills so that fundamental learning skills and work habits actually improve. Soft skills are prized by employers because they need employees who can adapt rapidly to change, receive and promptly act on constructive criticism and make everybody around them – colleagues and customers – better.

    While teaching fundamental skills, for example, the best educators teach students how to manage their time. Besides turning in acceptable work on time, they teach students how to help classmates succeed as well, as they would when participating on a sports team or musical group. They provide problem-solving competitions among small groups that teach students how to collaborate, lead and follow, check their individual and mutual work, win and lose gracefully and de-escalate/resolve conflicts humanely when team members disagree or some fail to shoulder their individual responsibilities. The best educators guide students to succeed on individual and group projects that help students learn, persist and then apply fundamental skills to demonstrate how they discovered or solved a problem, including those they might encounter in the workplace, community or at home. The best educators also help students discover their strengths, that is, what they are like when at their best in order to learn faster, become better classmates/teammates, make friends and even select their careers.

    The Fast Break accelerated learning framework for teens and young adults exemplifies how to combine SEL with learning fundamental skills. Simulating a high-performance collaborative workplace, Fast Break is an immersion-type, blended classroom-computer-assisted course that rapidly improves basic skills, work habits, employability and people (SEL) skills while helping students develop a compelling vision of success in a career field in which they are interested and have aptitude. The team-taught, cross-disciplinary, project- and competency-based model employs the team-oriented “band of brothers and sisters” approach that has made many of our companies, military units, sports teams and performing arts groups the best in the world. Its motto, “Getting everybody over the bar.”

    The major takeaway is that when SEL is intelligently incorporated into academic lessons, good things happen – higher test scores, better attendance, student engagement and more important, better job and life results after leaving school. In the aforementioned Fast Break program, learners achieve up to 2+ grade-level gains in reading and math in just 2-3 months. This success is due to Fast Break’s team collaboration design, focus on project completion and integration of basic skills with employability skills such as teamwork, customer service, time management and conflict de-escalation/resolution. The model has helped thousands of young adults in Detroit, Los Angeles, Flint and other communities move ahead to career entry positions or college, placing 80% of completers within six weeks.

    Fast Break graduates are highly valued by employers and colleges because of their skills, habits and work ethic. Most participants say that had such a program been available in high school or the first year of college, they would have been much more engaged. The federal government, two states and a major community organization in Detroit invested millions in developing and demonstrating the model.

    Click on the following links for more information
    http://www.educationviews.org/program-handle-crisis-competence/ – describes program from a student perspective.
    http://www.educationviews.org/annual-march-madness-schools-learn/- describes Fast Break’s team approach.

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