360/365 Articles

Putting It All Together: Steps for Integrating Social-Emotional and Character Skills

All children and youth need social-emotional and character skills in order to thrive in school, work, and life. (By “skills”, we are referring to actual skills as well as attitudes and beliefs.) A broad body of research substantiates that academic ability works in tandem with social-emotional and character skills. We want our youth, as they reach adulthood, to be well prepared for productive careers and as socially conscious, engaged citizens.

Through their design and structure, high-quality expanded learning programs provide valuable opportunities for children and youth to develop social-emotional and character skills. (By programs, we are referring to both the youth program staff as well as the larger parent organization.) These skills are both “taught” (through program structures and activities) and “caught” (by exposing youth to the program culture and the modeling/behavior of program staff). This document suggests a number of intentional steps to promote these skills in expanded learning programs. It is important to note that promoting these skills is an important part of promoting a quality program. Get it!

 

Finding Common Ground: Connecting Social-Emotional Learning During and Beyond the School Day

The Partnership for Children & Youth (PCY) has recently released Finding Common Ground: Connecting Social-Emotional Learning During and Beyond the School Day. This brief provides language and strategies to support alignment between K-12 and expanded learning programs, by cross-walking key priorities and initiatives in California that impact social-emotional learning (SEL).

 

In PCY’s work with school districts and expanded learning providers over the last year, we have seen that many districts already have learning and behavioral goals that provide a strong foundation to focus their SEL efforts and that expanded learning providers are natural allies in this work. But too often the opportunities to better coordinate efforts are missed because these educators use different language and operate within separate initiatives. This brief finds common ground amid these initiatives and provides San Francisco Unified School District as a case study to illustrate how to operationalize this alignment. Read the full brief here.

 

This work is based on Student Success Comes Full Circle, a previous publication by Expanded Learning 360º/365, outlining a shared understanding of what and how expanded learning programs contribute to SEL. Expanded Learning 360º/365 is a collaborative statewide initiative to improve SEL in expanded learning programs. Click here to learn more about the Partnership for Children & Youth’s social-emotional learning projects.

 

Social Emotional Skills Spotlight: Deeper Dive into the Selected Social Emotional Skills

Social Emotional Skills SpotlightThe Expanded Learning 360/365 Research Work Group selected six skills that are considered foundational to youths’ success in school, work, and life, using a participatory consensus-based approach. The selected skills include:

 

  • Growth mindset
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Self-management

To further the conversation about these skills The Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY) commissioned Public Profit to provide descriptors of each skill including “I statements” that embody what a young person who possesses the skill might say. We also summarize research-based practical approaches to shaping the learning context and facilitating learning opportunities that support the development of the six skills. It is important to keep in mind that the context features listed cannot be effective in isolation as they are interdependent on the broader quality of the learning setting. The Social Emotional Skills Spotlight is accompanied by a graphic that details how the six focal skills relate to other social emotional skills and desired educational, personal, and career outcomes for youth (See Appendix A). The purpose of the graphic is to test the Research Work Group’s assumption that these skills are foundational. Read it now.

 

Student Success Comes Full Circle: Leveraging Expanded Learning Opportunities

Concept Paper, May 2015.

All children and youth need social-emotional and character skills in order to thrive in school, work, and life. A broad body of research substantiates that academic ability works in tandem with social-emotional and character skills to support young people’s success in the 21st Century. Young people need to be able to assess their own skills and behaviors, work with others, and persist when faced with challenges. We want our youth, as they reach adulthood, to be well-prepared for productive careers and as socially conscious, engaged citizens. To get there, they need to succeed in school and that means mastering the complex and demanding new learning goals embodied in the Common Core standards. By their design and structure, high-quality expanded learning programs provide valuable opportunities for children and youth to develop social-emotional and character skills. Families with sufficient resources spend freely to provide these opportunities through private lessons, summer camps, and special programs. California’s unparalleled expanded learning infrastructure makes similar experiences accessible to young people whose parents wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. We believe expanded learning and school day programs can and must work together to ensure that our investments result in real and equitable gains in young people’s success. They can do this by consistently and coherently prioritizing students’ social-emotional learning and character development. Read it now.

 

Growth-Mindsets-Lit-Review

Growth Mindsets: A Literature Review

Written by Samantha Waters, Edited by Sam Piha and Rozel Cruz, Temescal Associates.

Experts agree that success is not merely found in one’s natural ability but rather in their continuous development of those abilities. Thanks to leaders in a variety of fields like Carol S. Dweck, Gilbert Gottlieb, and Robert Stemberg, there is a growing literature as to the benefits to prescribing to a growth mindset. In this document, we will discuss what the difference is between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and how that affects one’s ability to learn and ultimately succeed. Read it now.

 

Character Education: A Literature ReviewCharacter Education: A Literature Review

Written by Samantha Waters, Edited by Sam Piha and Rozel Cruz, Temescal Associates.

This literature review will define character education and the major categories it falls into as well as discuss best practices and examples of current programs. It is important for the reader to note that much of the literature regarding character education refers to schools. We know that other institutions have an impact on character development. These include the family, as well as expanding learning programs (afterschool and summer youth programs), the latter being our primary interest. Read it now.

 

School-ClimateSchool Climate: A Literature Review

Written by Samantha Waters, Edited by Sam Piha and Rosel Cruz, Temescal Associates
for hundreds of years educators have recognized the importance of school climate. Early educational reformers such as Perry (1916), and Durkheim (1961) recognize that the distinctive culture of a school affects the life and learning of its students. However it was not until the 1950s that educators and researchers began to study school climate and create assessment tools to help assist schools in achieving positive school climate. Read it now.