Giving Compass’ Take:
• School leaders convened to discuss how the arts can drive progress in social-emotional learning curricula, which can then help promote positive school climate.
• How are you supporting arts education in your local school district? In what ways can arts ed interact with SEL? Arts and SEL are particularly difficult to access during COVID-19?
• Learn more about the connection between SEL and the arts.
School leaders are increasing efforts to integrate social-emotional learning into the instructional day to improve learning and positive outcomes for students. Meanwhile, arts educators and advocates are pushing to give students more opportunities for participation in the arts, both during and after school hours.
The two interests came together last week for a conversation about how the arts can help schools accomplish SEL goals and serve as a way to measure improvements in school climate at an event sponsored by Turnaround Arts, a project of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
“The [SEL] field has a lot of ideas about what we ought to be teaching kids, but the field is very open-ended on the how,” said Timothy Shriver, co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, a former educator and chairman of the Special Olympics. The arts, he said, have “a lot to offer in the how. This is a beautiful potential relationship.”
Many states are also including the results of school climate surveys as part of their education accountability systems in addition to test scores. And it’s less likely that students’ responses on questions such as whether their school is safe or caring would be used “punitively” against schools, Shriver said, but added, “If kids are saying it’s not, that’s an important piece of data.”
A more recent survey shows that support for SEL among school leaders has continued to grow. Other experts are also drawing attention to the links between the arts and SEL. A June report noted that the arts can give students additional ways to demonstrate qualities such as perseverance. But because artistic expression can be very personal and feel risky for many students, the authors urged educators to focus on making the experience a positive one.
Read the full article about social-emotional learning and the arts by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive.
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