What's Happening in Character?

How Are Social-Emotional Learning and the Common Core Connected?

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

By Maurice Elias, Professor, Rutgers University Psychology Department

In September, 2013, the Education Advisory Council of the Character Education Partnership published a white paper titled, "Integrating Common Core and Character Education: Why It Is Essential and How It Can Be Done." Kristin Fink and Karen Geller, acclaimed educators both, co-chaired the process and I asked them to comment on some of the key points:

Maurice Elias: In your view, what is the major shortcoming of the Common Core standards as they are presently being put forward?

Karen Fink: The standards do not explicitly address the quality of the learning environment or the culture of respect, responsibility, and excellence that must be in place for optimal student learning. Every student needs to feel that the school has a deep commitment to preserving his or her safety, worth and dignity. The school community must have as a standard genuine, caring relationships between and among students, teachers, parents, and staff. The standards also lack a specific focus on teaching moral and performance character, and the social-emotional skills that help students develop the stamina and self-discipline to grapple with more rigorous curriculum to truly become college, career, and civic ready.

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Topics: character education, common core standards, social-emotional learning, Elias Maurice

A Call to All Social-Emotional Learning Leaders

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

By Maurice Elias,Professor, Rutgers University Psychology Department and Edutopia Blogger

It's time for the leaders of the social-emotional learning (SEL) and character education fields to jump in the sandbox together and create a set of common guidelines for implementation in schools.  This is a variation of the "Manhattan Project" called for years ago by Tim Shriver, a founder of CASEL.

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Topics: character education, leadership, social-emotional learning, Elias Maurice

Creating Safe Spaces that Nurture Learning

Posted by Mark Hyatt on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 @ 12:08 PM

When it comes to flourishing in school nowadays, scientific evidence is mounting that confirms what many of us have suspected all along—that if we want children to truly learn, and to perform better in life as both students and citizens, then we have to educate them in an environment that they see as safe, caring and nurturing. In short, school social climate matters, so social and emotional learning (SEL), combined with character education, just may be the magical combination that makes academic growth possible.

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Topics: character, CEPLeaders, character education, Character Education News, school safety, Hyatt Mark, social-emotional learning, Elias Maurice