In a recent Education Week blog “Embedding SEL Across the Curriculum,” Tom VanderArk and Mary Ryerse offer examples of schools working to embed social and emotional learning deeply within the curriculum.
Character is caught as well as taught–too often, we’ve relied on the former. The teaching of social-emotional skills must be explicit. Kids should be meta about character strengths–when they recognize strengths in themselves and others, they can change a culture. While sometimes these skills can be taught in isolated incidents, it is most effective when integrated into school culture, curriculum and guidance services.
Deer Park Community City Schools, using the Thriving Learning Communities program, was cited as one of the examples.
Deer Park’s innovative and blended approach to improving school culture through focusing on strengths was featured in a recent EdWeek article. Thanks to a partnership between Mayerson Academy, VIA Institute on Character and Happify (an online platform that supports social-emotional learning concepts), students are identifying and developing character strengths and recognizing strengths in all class periods.
Last year Mayerson Academy, in partnership with the Deer Park Community City School District, was awarded a Straight A Grant from the Ohio Department of Education for its “Building Strong Character to Build Strong Learners” application.