Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Classroom Practice




What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Summary:  This article explores the importance of relationships between teacher and students as a goal of teaching.  It goes beyond “college and career readiness: and extends to significant interpersonal connections that motivate and  inspire students to achieve in school.  These connections extend far beyond graduation and are important in shaping students’ lives.

Source:  Karen Engels, Education Week, August 24, 2016

Categories:  Core Values, Classroom Practice, School Culture and Climate




Student Surveys: Using Student Voice to Improve Teaching and Learning

Summary: When teachers survey their classes at Trinidad Garza Early College High School, students see how their opinions matter and have a direct impact on instruction.  This article which spotlights Trinidad Garza Early College High School in Dallas, Texas, explains how student surveys were implemented in the school.

Source:  Schools That Work, Edutopia, June 14, 2016

Categories:  Student Voice, Classroom Practice, Student Engagement



Teacher with students

The Best Schools In The World Do This. Why Don’t We?

Summary: This article reports on the findings of a study done by a group of non-partisan state legislators and staffers to study some of the world’s top-performing school systems, including those in Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Ontario, Poland, Shanghai, Singapore and Taiwan.

Source:  Cory Turner, nprEd, August 9, 2016

Categories:  Classroom Practice, Student Achievement, Early Childhood/Preschool



Teacher and Student

Teacher Expectations Top List of Effects on Student Achievement

Summary:  Australian education researcher John Hattie’s latest update to the Hattie Ranking, which incorporates the results of 1,200 meta analyses, places teacher estimates of achievement as the highest-impact influence on student learning and achievement.

Source: Tara Garcia Mathewson, Education DIVE, July 5, 2016

Categories:  Student Achievement, Classroom Practice



man saluting the new day and the text mindfulness

Study: Teacher Stress Reduction Leads to Instructional Improvement

Summary: This article reports on a study based on “a classroom model theory positing that teachers’ well-being promotes better teacher-student relationships, effective classroom management skills, and effective social-emotional learning.”  The study found that teachers who participated in a mindfulness-based professional development program “were more emotionally supportive and demonstrated greater sensitivity to students than those in the control group.”

Source: Elisha McNeil, Education Week, May 4, 2016

Categories: SEL Basics, SEL Research, Classroom Practice, Mindfulness




Getting Curious (Not Furious) With Students

Summary:  This article suggests that when students act out, there are alternatives to the stern discipline approach. One of these alternatives is trauma-sensitive teaching where teachers understand that outbursts can be the result of negative social-emotional factors including neglect, abuse, or even violence.  Creating “Classrooms of Care” should be a goal to help all students achieve.

Source:  Rebecca Alber, Edutopia, June 29, 2016

Categories: Classroom Management, Classroom Practice, Student Behavior




SEL Is Good Teaching

Summary: This article proposes that good teaching – connecting with students, helping students work cooperatively with others, encouraging students to reflect on their work – all promote the acquisition of SEL skills in the classroom.  This doesn’t require a special curriculum or a great expenditure of resources, it is simply good teaching.

Source:  Lorea Martinez, Ph.D., Edutopia, May 5, 2016

Categories: SEL Basics, Classroom Practice



Kindergartners Get Little Time to Play. Why Does it Matter?

Summary:  This article presents some research on how Kindergarten has changed over the years and has become more rigorously focused on academic instruction.  As a result, elements of play and socialization that had traditionally characterized the kindergarten experience have all but disappeared from today’s kindergarten classroom.  The author also provides a rationale for the importance of play in helping children develop academically, socially, and emotionally.

Source:  Christopher Brown, The Conversation, April 27, 2016

Categories:  Classroom Practice, SEL Basics, Creativity, Student Engagement



John King

Education Secretary to Call for Return to a ‘Well-Rounded Education’

Summary: In this interview published in the Washington Post, new Education Secretary, John King Jr. talks about restoring a balance in education beyond the focus on Language Arts and Math.  This shift is made possible by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) where there is a greater chance to more broadly define what is meant by student achievement and success.

Source:  Emma Brown, The Washington Post, April 14, 2016

Categories: Student Achievement, Student Engagement, Classroom Practice



Dispelling Myths About Online Learning

Summary: This article looks at several myths about online learning and provides a counterpoint to the feeling of many academics that online learning experiences are inferior to face-to-face instruction.  The author looks at various platforms – asynchronous and synchronous, group dynamics and connection in online settings, the degree of rigor in online courses, and technology vs. content.

Source: Ellen Murphy, The Huffington Post, March 30. 2016

Categories: Online Learning, Classroom Practice