Giving Compass' Take:

• Edward Fergus, a professor at Temple University, offers insight as to how effective social-emotional learning practices are when it comes to discipline.  He focuses on how social-emotional learning needs to intentionally understand issues that all types of children face in order to be truly effective. 

• How can social-emotional learning practices incorporate more helpful tools for teachers? Ferguson discusses how some schools are using more rehabilitative practices when it comes to discipline. Do you think this will change as the school safety debates continue?

• Colorado schools are trying to address the problem of racial bias in disciplinary actions specifically. Schools have even started working with a foundation to help implement restorative practices. 

The United States Government Accountability Office recently released a report confirming decades of anecdotal research saying, among other things, that Black male students who account for 15.5 percent of all public school kids, represented about 39 percent of students suspended from school.

To change this trend, some educators are looking to implement social-emotional learning (SEL) practices such as restorative justice—where students repair the harm done with community service or discussions—and daily greetings, where teachers build relationships with students by addressing them each morning.

But researchers following school districts who have implemented such practices, note that SEL practices hold “limited promise” for changing trends in school discipline because notions inherent in much of the pedagogy don’t consider power, privilege and cultural differences.

To discuss his research on this topic, Edward Fergus, an assistant professor at Temple University, joined reporter Jenny Abamu on the EdSurge OnAir podcast.

He says, "Often we consider social-emotional learning as a tool for, or framework for, approaching how we create the types of climate and culture that kids need for them to be successful. There has to be a great deal of intentionality. What do we understand about the sort of competencies that are bound to social-emotional learning as they sit alongside different racial, ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups that are existing within our school systems?"

Read the full article about social emotional learning by Jenny Abamu at EdSurge.