Parents' Rights Now!

Social Emotional Learning, PART 6: NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF!

September 17, 2020 Suzanne Gallagher Season 1 Episode 31
Parents' Rights Now!
Social Emotional Learning, PART 6: NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF!
Chapters
Parents' Rights Now!
Social Emotional Learning, PART 6: NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF!
Sep 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 31
Suzanne Gallagher

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The final Commission report wants to “forge closer connections between research and practice.” However, given the lack of consensus among researchers about how to define SEL, and the fragmented and contradictory state of SEL research as shown in these examples, the wisdom of this idea is in doubt... 

Major education thought leaders are expressing similar skepticism. One is SEL proponent Peter DeWitt, who notes, “SEL is one area where some educators and leaders are saying enough is enough,” and asks, “Do I expect too much from schools? Do I expect a balance between SEL and academic learning that cannot possibly be accomplished?”

...the Commission in its final report recommended “[e]nsur[ing] educators develop expertise in child development and in the science of learning. This will require major changes in educator preparation and in ongoing professional support for the social and emotional learning of teachers and all other adults who work with young people.” Research about SEL in action—especially in preschool and the early grades—suggests that the concept is better in theory than in practice. Even though SEL standards have been part of the Head Start program since at least 2003, research about both Head Start and state preschool programs shows that children involved in them experience a decline in desired SEL status, even based on the subjective standards and assessments currently available. 

For example, the large, well-controlled 2010 Head Start study found that for “teacher reports of children’s behavior:

Children in the Head Start group demonstrated moderate evidence of more socially reticent behavior (i.e., shy and hesitant behavior) as reported by teachers, and there is suggestive evidence of more problematic student-teacher interactions.” The 2012 follow-up to this study found that “for children in the 4-year-old cohort, there were no observed [SEL] impacts through the end of kindergarten but favorable impacts reported by parents and unfavorable impacts reported by teachers emerged at the end of 1st and 3rd grades.” Additionally, as far back as 1991, research found that participants in SEL-saturated Head Start “had lower mean scores in communication, daily living skills, and social skills domains, and the total adaptive behavior score.” No study of Head Start has found sustained cognitive gains for participants through third grade, which contradicts the claim of SEL proponents that SEL, a key focus of Head Start programs, improves academic outcomes... 

As this discussion shows, the certitude with which proponents, especially CASEL and the Commission, express their faith in the efficacy of SEL may be based less on science and rigorous research than on their own hopes about what “ought to” work (and perhaps their own financial interests in the outcome).

After learning these findings, I am furious about the blatant mismanagement of resources and funding wasted on SEL beginning with the Clinton administration. This has to be stopped at the federal level where all the grant money is allocated every year to educators and curriculum engineers for the purpose of manipulating our children’s personalities. Our children are no less than psychological Guinea Pigs for these so-called researchers. We must call a halt to it in our local schools!

Support the show (https://www.parentsrightsined.com/support-the-cause.html)

Show Notes

New Age Nanny State White Paper
Parents' Rights In Education Website
DONATE TODAY!

The final Commission report wants to “forge closer connections between research and practice.” However, given the lack of consensus among researchers about how to define SEL, and the fragmented and contradictory state of SEL research as shown in these examples, the wisdom of this idea is in doubt... 

Major education thought leaders are expressing similar skepticism. One is SEL proponent Peter DeWitt, who notes, “SEL is one area where some educators and leaders are saying enough is enough,” and asks, “Do I expect too much from schools? Do I expect a balance between SEL and academic learning that cannot possibly be accomplished?”

...the Commission in its final report recommended “[e]nsur[ing] educators develop expertise in child development and in the science of learning. This will require major changes in educator preparation and in ongoing professional support for the social and emotional learning of teachers and all other adults who work with young people.” Research about SEL in action—especially in preschool and the early grades—suggests that the concept is better in theory than in practice. Even though SEL standards have been part of the Head Start program since at least 2003, research about both Head Start and state preschool programs shows that children involved in them experience a decline in desired SEL status, even based on the subjective standards and assessments currently available. 

For example, the large, well-controlled 2010 Head Start study found that for “teacher reports of children’s behavior:

Children in the Head Start group demonstrated moderate evidence of more socially reticent behavior (i.e., shy and hesitant behavior) as reported by teachers, and there is suggestive evidence of more problematic student-teacher interactions.” The 2012 follow-up to this study found that “for children in the 4-year-old cohort, there were no observed [SEL] impacts through the end of kindergarten but favorable impacts reported by parents and unfavorable impacts reported by teachers emerged at the end of 1st and 3rd grades.” Additionally, as far back as 1991, research found that participants in SEL-saturated Head Start “had lower mean scores in communication, daily living skills, and social skills domains, and the total adaptive behavior score.” No study of Head Start has found sustained cognitive gains for participants through third grade, which contradicts the claim of SEL proponents that SEL, a key focus of Head Start programs, improves academic outcomes... 

As this discussion shows, the certitude with which proponents, especially CASEL and the Commission, express their faith in the efficacy of SEL may be based less on science and rigorous research than on their own hopes about what “ought to” work (and perhaps their own financial interests in the outcome).

After learning these findings, I am furious about the blatant mismanagement of resources and funding wasted on SEL beginning with the Clinton administration. This has to be stopped at the federal level where all the grant money is allocated every year to educators and curriculum engineers for the purpose of manipulating our children’s personalities. Our children are no less than psychological Guinea Pigs for these so-called researchers. We must call a halt to it in our local schools!

Support the show (https://www.parentsrightsined.com/support-the-cause.html)