Giving Compass' Take:

· The authors explain the need for education to adopt a 'whole child' approach and incorporate social and emotional learning and development. 

· How are schools incorporating social and emotional development? Why is this an important part of learning, especially at a young age? 

· Learn more about supporting the 'whole child' and how it is making a difference for students

This year is shaping up to be a big one for public education, as 20 new governors, 16 re-elected governors and more than 100 new mayors settle into their roles. Many of these leaders committed as part of their campaigns to an education focus, and voters will hold them accountable. The hopeful news is that these leaders have an education policy priority that they can rally around in 2019, regardless of their political beliefs: "whole child" education.

We now have robust evidence affirming our instinctive understanding that every student learns best when treated as a whole child, with education that supports their social, emotional and academic development. There is demand among students, educators, parents and the business community for this approach; it appeals to both conservatives, with its emphasis on developing character, and progressives, as it has powerful benefits for vulnerable children.

A new report from the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development, on which both of us serve, presents convincing evidence that by creating a school environment that features strong, secure relationships and helps students gain and use an array of skills -- perseverance, empathy, respect, self-mastery, collaboration -- academic achievement and behavior can be greatly improved for all children. Social and emotional supports and skills are especially important for the 46 million American children who are exposed to violence, crime, abuse, homelessness, food insecurity and other trauma each year.

Read the full article about a 'whole child' approach to education by James Comer and Linda Darling-Hammond at Governing Magazine.