Selling Social and Emotional Learning: An Interview with Daniel Goleman

>>Daniel: What we’re
calling today social and emotional learning actually has
many of its roots back in the ’80s when kids were having lots of
problems with things like drugs, unwanted teen pregnancies,
drop outs, violence in schools and the federal government mandated
programs to prevent these things. There was a war on bullying, there
was a war on drugs, there was a war on violence in schools and about
the time I as a science journalist at the New York Times was
looking around at what I ended up calling emotional intelligence. About that time a foundation, the WT
Grant Foundation funded study of all of these programs because people
realized some of these programs work and a lot of them don’t and
they want to know what’s working and so they did an analysis of
the different components and so on and they realized that the programs
that worked all shared a common set of ingredients and what were they? They’re helping kids
become more self aware, they’re helping them manage
their distressing feelings, they’re helping them be more
empathic, control impulse, make sound social decisions
like how can I say no to drugs and keep my friends and that
essence has been extracted from those programs and
brought to the classroom as social emotional learning. Today they’ve completed a mega study
of more than 200 independent analyses that look at kids who have these
programs and kids who don’t, comparable kids and they find
that if kid’s get the training in social emotional learning
that all pro social behaviors, things like attendance, behaving
well in class, liking school. They all go up about nine or ten
percentile points and the things that they’re trying to prevent, the
drug use, the violence in schools, the bullying, all of that
goes down by the same margin and the real kicker I think is
that academic achievement goes up eleven percentile points and
if you look at the difference between groups of kids who
don’t do well and groups who do, the difference in their
achievement is about the same range. I mean this pretty much closes the
achievement gap and it works best for the kids who need it the most. So today I think that the social
emotional learning movement has the ammunition to go to the next
level, really to take it scale, to make it available to every
kid, everywhere in the country. I think to get this kind of education
for every kid we have to first get over our fixation on
academic achievement tests as the end all and
be all of education. We have to remember we’re educating
the whole child and if you talk to people in companies as I often do, you find that they don’t just want
bright kids with technical skills, they want bright skills with
technical skills who know how to get along, who can cooperate,
who can be good team members, who could relate well to customers,
who manage their emotions well, who stay motivated,
who take initiative. Those are social emotional skills. So what makes kids prepared for the
work place is yes it’s the academics but it’s this too and I think
that we need get over the mindset that sees this as something
extra or something unnecessary. Neuroscience is now telling us
that children’s brains are plastic that is they’re shaped by repeated
experience and if you’re going to help a child be prepared
for life you want to give that child the repeated experiences
that are going to help his brain or her brain be able
to manage their anger, to calm down when they’re upset, to
tune into other people, to get along and the best way to shape
the brain we’re finding is through social emotional learning because it targets the very
circuitry that’s taking shape through childhood that’s going to be
your foundation for life, for better or worse on how well
you can do those things. So this is not touchy-feely,
this is very hard science now. I think everyone should care
about this, not just people who are parents, it’s not
just I want this for my kid, I want this for my
community because I want to be safe walking down the streets. I want my friends and neighbors to be
safe and one of the strongest affects of this is it heads
off criminal careers, it helps kids who otherwise might
go down the wrong alley be able to manage their impulse, manage
their anger, tune in to other people and get along better and I think it
just makes the world a better place for all of us.>>For more information on what works in public education
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2 thoughts on “Selling Social and Emotional Learning: An Interview with Daniel Goleman”

  1. Thank you for uploading this wonderful video-An Interview with Daniel Goleman.
    I agree with his views that Social and Emotional Learning is very important not only in the Schools but also in the Community and the Workplace,-Dr.Balu.

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