Social Emotional Learning


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This powerpoint presentation was put together by Stephanie Jones and presented on June 24 at our Georgia Children's Advocacy Network (GA-CAN!) Forum. This month we looked at Learning Differences and Obstacles: What gets in the way of reading?

Stephanie Jones is an affiliated faculty member at the Center on the Developing Child and the Marie and Max Kargman Associate Professor in Human Development and Urban Education Advancement at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Her basic developmental research focuses on the longitudinal effects of poverty and exposure to violence on social and emotional development in early childhood and adolescence. In addition, she conducts evaluation research focusing on the developmental impact of school-based interventions targeting children's social-emotional skills and aggressive behavior, as well as their basic academic skills.

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  • CSEFEL says…
    social-emotional development is the
    developing capacity of the child from birth through
    five years of age to:
    form close, secure adult and peer relationships;
    experience, regulate, and express emotions in socially and culturally appropriate ways; and
    explore the environment and learn — all in the context of family, community, and culture

    What is SECURe?
    To succeed in school and life, students need to master reading, math, and other academic skills. Developing those skills requires that students learn how to learn, both independently and with others. SECURe is a school-wide program that helps students build these skills and apply them both in and outside of the classroom.

    We have referred to SECURe as a program to build a community of self-regulated learners, but we don’t use this language with school staff and families

    It teaches students strategies to focus their thinking, manage their behavior, build positive social relationships, and understand and deal with their feelings -- all in ways that support learning and life success.

    All students come to school with different strengths and experiences in these areas. SECURe is provided to all students for two reasons: 1) every student has something to learn and something to share in these areas, and 2) when all students know and use the same strategies, those strategies are more useful and effective. SECURe is designed to help each student and the school community as a whole.

  • What are Social-Emotional skills?

    We organize them into three primary domains including.

    CR means
    ER means
    SR means

    What is common and central to all three is basic regulation of self and in social interaction, which is what I am going to talk about next.

    Social and emotional development is thought to underlie children’s behaviors, especially in two areas considered to be central to longer-term success: (1) learning behaviors, which refer to children’s ability to focus their attention and behavior during classroom activities; and (2) social behaviors, children’s positive interactions with peers and teachers.
    Each of these behavioral outcomes is comprised of a smaller set of discrete skills, which are the “building blocks” that are the prerequisites to behaviors. Learning behaviors, for example, are supported by children’s skills in regulating their behavior (and have resulting lower levels of behavior problems). Learning behaviors are also supported by children’s executive function skills, which consist of: (1) the ability to flexibly shift attention; (2) the ability to control one’s immediate or automatic response in favor of a planned response; and (3) working (or short-term) memory.
    Social behaviors are supported by children’s ability to read and effectively interpret others’ emotions, express their own emotions, engage in cooperative play, generate competent solutions to social problems when they arise, and negotiate with peers when there are disagreements.
    While learning behaviors and social behaviors each depend on the development of a distinct set of skills, they are also clearly interdependent. For example, children must be able to regulate their behaviors in order to engage in both learning activities and in social interactions. Thus, even interventions that target a relatively narrow range of skills may ultimately affect a broad range of outcomes, in part through interactions between the skills that are directly affected and other skills that the child possesses.
  • For us, regulation = organizing construct for social-emotional development.

    Regulation is defined in many different ways, different terminology in different literatures:
    --executive function
    --effortful control
    --delay of gratification
    --emotion regulation, self-control … ability to wait, take turns, etc.

    (HIT BUTTON) Using Karoly’s (1993) definition, we conceptualize regulation as the “Management and modulation of thoughts, feelings, attention, and behavior … in the service of goals.”
  • Show videos.

    Recent study: parent reports of self-control at age 3-5y a strong predictor of academics, mental and physical health, adult earnings and savings, and criminal behavior (Moffitt et al, 2011; PNAS)
  • The toxic stress associated with poverty can disrupt the body’s stress response system (Boyce, 2011; Center on the Developing Child, 2005; McEwan, 2011)
    Decreases pre-frontal cortex activity, and minimizes the role of executive function in decision-making and behavior
    Increases reliance on reactive/ arousal systems (“fight or flight”); which may increase aggressive and impulsive behavior

    Experience Shapes Brain Architecture by Over-Production of Connections Followed by Pruning
    Neural proliferation and pruning is a normal, healthy part of brain development: connections that are not used are pruned away.
    The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. During the first few years of life, 700 new synapses (neural connections) are formed every second. After a period of rapid proliferation, connections are reduced through a process called pruning, so that brain circuits can become more efficient. Early experiences affect the nature and quality of the brain’s developing architecture by determining which circuits are reinforced and which are pruned through lack of use. Some people refer to this as “use it or lose it.”

    Scientists now know that chronic, unrelenting stress in early childhood, perhaps caused by extreme poverty, neglect, repeated abuse, or severe maternal depression, for example, can be toxic to the developing brain. While positive stress (moderate, short-lived physiological responses to uncomfortable experiences) is an important and necessary aspect of healthy development, toxic stress is the strong, unrelieved activation of the body’s stress management system in the absence of the buffering protection of adult support. This image depicts the structure of neurons in the areas of the brain that are most important for successful learning and behavior in school and the workplace—the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. The neuron on the right, which has been subjected to toxic stress, clearly displays underdeveloped neural connections, or weaker brain architecture.
  • Differences show up as early as 5 yrs of age (Noble, Norman & Farah, 2005)

    Fig. 1 – Effect sizes, measured in standard deviations of
    separation between low and middle SES group performance,
    on the composite measures of the seven different
    neurocognitive systems assessed in this study. Black bars
    represent effect sizes for statistically significant effects; gray
    bars represent effect sizes for nonsignificant effects.
  • We organize the skills across development, PreK-5

    What skills serve as foundations for later ones?
    What skills must be mastered before moving to the next stage?

    Two or three main points = key principles of developmental theory

    The idea of stage salience; some skills are in ascendance while others are just emerging; some skills are especially salient to kids at a particular age… what matters most for PreK is different than what matters most for 2nd grade
    The idea that simple skills emerge first and lay the foundation for later skills, which are more complex
    Development is a process of “weaving ropes” (Frameworks Institute) … domains are inter-related and over-lapping. Over time, skills in one domain get integrated with processes and skills in another domain, produce increasingly complex behavior.

    (2 min)
  • --general pattern; different trajectories for different kids
    --key “window” for intervention
    --lots of observable, behavioral changes
  • Mathematical Practices:
    1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. 4. Model with mathematics. 5. Use appropriate tools strategically. 6. Attend to precision. 7. Look for and make use of structure. 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
  • From the Grade 1 literature CCSS:

    Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
    Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
    Describe characters, settings, and major ev

    From the Grade 1 speaking/listening CCSS:

    Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
    Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • From the Grade 1 literature CCSS:

    Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.

    From the Grade 1 speaking/listening CCSS:

    Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
  • Part of the challenge (lack of clarity / lack of consensus) is that terminology and assessment of skills originate in different research traditions.

    For example, developmental and clinical psychologists = social-emotional learning (e.g., emotion regulation, cooperation, prosocial). Typically use observation-based assessments, in natural settings (parent and teacher reports of behavior).

    In contrast, cognitive neuroscientists = executive functions (e.g., working memory, response inhibition, set shifting). Typically use lab-based tasks that are individually administered, independent (without classroom/ peer distractions).

    Translating these diverse traditions of research into an applied set of definitions, standards, assessments, and teaching strategies that work well in schools is a complicated task for policy-makers.
  • We have used this idea of regulation to build an integrated model of Regulation for school-based interventions and applied settings.

    Executive function sit at the base – are a foundation of skills and processes that support regulatory functioning across multiple domains and contexts

    Each domain has specific knowledge, skills, and experiences that support self-regulation in that domain

    Cognitive Regulation: managing and modulating thoughts and attention

    Related Knowledge and Skills:
    Setting Goals
    Planning and Organizing

    Emotion Regulation: Managing and modulating internal feeling states (arousal, excitement, fear, anger, frustration, motivation, etc.) and related behaviors

    Related Knowledge and Skills
    Emotion Knowledge and Expression
    Emotion and Behavior Regulation
    Empathy and Perspective-Taking

    Social Regulation: Managing and modulating thoughts, feelings, and actions in social/ interpersonal situations

    Related Knowledge and Skills
    Understanding Social Cues
    Conflict Resolution and Social Problem-Solving
    Prosocial and Cooperative Behavior
  • Creating our benchmarks involved a process of translating technical definitions found in the literature base into applied definitions, or behaviors that you can actually observe in children and in classrooms. Descriptions of behaviors in benchmarks are developmentally-appropriate and contextually-relevant, so they look different at different ages and look different in a school setting than in a lab or other research setting.

    (HIT BUTTON) For example, working memory…

    (1 min)
  • high-quality teacher and classroom practices (positive praise, reflection & documentation, routines and structures, behavior management)
  • Social Emotional Learning

    1. 1. Stephanie M. Jones Harvard University Learning Differences and Obstacles: What Gets in the Way of Reading? June 24, 2014 Georgia Children’s Advocacy Network (GA-CAN!) Social-Emotional Learning (What does research in social and emotional development tell us about the most important knowledge and skills to learn for impacting school success?)
    2. 2. Outline • What is Social-Emotional Learning and why is it important? • What do we know about links between S-E skills and other outcomes? • What are S-E skills? – Over development? – Links to CCSS? • Summary
    3. 3. What is Social-Emotional Learning and why is it important?
    4. 4. Focus thinking Manage behavior Build positive relationships Understand and deal with feelings Learn Social-Emotional Supports for Learning
    5. 5. • Social and emotional skills are universal and developmental. – They are essential to the tasks facing children in preschool and school settings. • Effective instruction reaches its limits when children face substantial social and emotional problems. – Addressing SEL could enhance the effect of an academic intervention. – Programs that intentionally target both are likely to maximize positive outcomes. • Does SEL programming work? YES: Social-emotional skills=.57; Academic outcomes=.27 (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011) Why Social-Emotional Learning?
    6. 6. Cognitive Domain Emotional Domain Social Domain setting goals, planning & organizing, transitioning, memory, attention understanding social cues, resolving conflict, cooperating expressing & identifying emotions, regulating emotions & behavior, perspective-taking Regulation An Organizing Framework for Social- Emotional Learning (SEL)
    7. 7. Cognitive Domain Emotional Domain Social Domain Regulation Management & modulation of… Thoughts Feelings Attention Behavior/ Interactions in service of goal directed activities …
    8. 8. What do we know about links between S-E and other outcomes?
    9. 9. Self & Social Regulation Academic Skills and Behavior Social- Emotional Skills and Behavior Moffitt et al. (2011): Self-control measured with observer, parent, teacher, and self-report ratings during the first decade of life predicts income, savings behavior, financial security, occupational prestige, physical and mental health, substance use, and (lack of) criminal convictions. What do we know?
    10. 10. • Working memory and inhibitory control contribute substantially to math knowledge in PreK (Epsy et al, 2004) • Early PreK measures of behavior regulation (inhibitory control, attention control, and working memory) predict growth in literacy, vocabulary, and math scores over the PreK year (McClelland et al, 2007) • Aspects of self-regulation in PreK are associated with K reading and math ability, above and beyond IQ; particularly inhibitory control (Blair & Razza, 2007) • PreK measures of executive function predict academic achievement at end of 1st and 3rd grades (Bull et al, 2008) EF/SR  Academic Outcomes
    11. 11. • Study of the ability to delay gratification (self-control) • 4 year olds • Eat 1 marshmallow now, or wait 20 minutes and get 2 marshmallows later • Ability to wait in early childhood predicted later behavior problems, drug addiction, obesity, and SAT scores – More important to academic success than IQ (Duckworth, 2005) • Strategies that kids use to successfully wait: – Focus on non-arousing characteristics of reward – Meta-cognitive strategies like pretending it’s a picture or cloud, singing a song, looking away – Strategies that “lower the emotional temperature” (Mischel, 1972; 1989) Self-Control & Marshmallows
    12. 12. • Deficits in emotion knowledge and emotion/ behavior regulation can lead to problems in school adjustment and academic outcomes (Raver, 2002; Denham, 2006) • Children unable to inhibit problematic behaviors pay less attention in class, spend less time on-task, have poorer school adjustment and academic outcomes (Alexander, Entwistle & Dauber, 1993) • K children with poor self-regulation skills are at greater risk for peer rejection and low levels of academic achievement (Ladd, Birch & Buhs, 1999) Emotions, Behavior & School
    13. 13. 1 in 5 children growing up in poverty have increased risk for social-emotional difficulty (Evans & English, 2002; Evans, 2004) Children who experience early adversity are more likely to exhibit challenges with executive functioning and self- regulation (Gunnar, 2000; Bos et al, 2009) – The chronic fear, anxiety, and stress associated with unpredictable or chaotic environments can disrupt brain architecture, particularly those involved with executive function and emotion management Poverty, Stress, and Regulation Neural Development Toxic Stress & Neural Development (Center on the Developing Child, 2013)
    14. 14. Neuro-cognitive differences between low and middle SES, ages 10-13 years (Farah, et al, 2006) e.g., Poverty and Executive Function
    15. 15. What are S-E skills, concretely (and over development)?
    16. 16. Working Memory Pro-social & Cooperation Conflict Resolution Understanding Social Cues Empathy & Perspective-Taking Emotion & Behavior Management Emotion Knowledge & Expression Cognitive Flexibility Response Inhibition EF & Cognitive Domain Emotion Domain Social Domain Significant Growth in PreK and K – provide foundation for cognitive, emotion and social regulation skills; continue to grow throughout childhood and adolescence. Emerge in K and 1 – then become more sophisticated in grades 2-3 to support academic and social goals. Gain ascendance in grades 2+ Basic Social Engagement Attention Control Planning, Organizing, Setting Goals 3-6 yrs 5-8 yrs 7+ yrs (Jones & Bailey, 2012) A Developmental Sequence of SEL Skills
    17. 17. Preschool Years (Center on the Developing Child, 2011) Executive Functions improve dramatically in preschool/preK years coinciding with growth in the prefrontal cortex
    18. 18.  Domain/Skill: Cognitive Regulation, Planning  Example Benchmarks:  Following a prompt, child thinks about and says aloud what he/she will do or where he/she will play next  Under direction of teacher, child draws a picture or writes 2-3 steps or materials that are needed to accomplish a task  Mentally or verbally outlines the steps needed to solve a math problem or a conflict situation  As a small group, children share and discuss plans for an upcoming project, presentation, or parent day For example, …
    19. 19.  Domain/Skill: Emotion Regulation, Emotion Knowledge and Expression  Example Benchmarks:  Uses basic feelings words appropriate to the situation (basic feelings include: happy, sad, mad, scared)  Uses increasingly sophisticated vocabulary to describe complex feelings and situations (i.e., disappointed, bored, lonely, jealous, generous, proud, curious; or multiple feelings at once)  Uses a range of feelings words of varying intensity (i.e., angry, irritated, furious) For example, …
    20. 20.  Domain/Skill: Social Regulation, Social Problem Solving  Example Benchmarks:  Effectively enters and engages in variety of social situations  Uses “I Messages” or other strategy to describe own feelings in conflict situation  Uses basic strategies to wait, take turns, share, or get help from adult in conflict situation with peer (i.e., struggle over objects)  Engages in more complex conflict resolution strategies (i.e., listens to the feelings of others, chooses win-win solution) For example, …
    21. 21. Summary
    22. 22. Concept Key Classroom Skills and Behaviors Stop and Think wait, reflect Focus pay attention, listen, ignore distractions Be Flexible transition, switch, take other perspectives Manage Emotions motivate self, cope with negative feelings, respond appropriately Notice and Respect Others pay attention to others, cooperate and collaborate, negotiate Communicate label, model and imitate; Plan and Set Goals organize, following through Applied Concepts and relevant Classroom/School Behaviors that are… (1) grounded in theory/research on EF and social, emotional, and cognitive regulation, (2) translations of theory/research for practice and practitioners, (3) necessary to successful learning across PreK-5th grade and across content areas. SEL Skills Fundamental to Learning
    23. 23. • Integration • It’s Universal, Developmental & Contextual – And we should focus (e.g., developmental pinpointing) – doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) everything at once – Requires common experience, language, and practice (across age and place) • It’s not whether we focus on SEL, because we are already (haphazard, unplanned OR intentional, explicit) – In relationships, environment (climate) – Necessary to support CCSS: deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically, and apply what they are learning to the real world • We can (and should) support it in the way we do other things: – Exposure (and modeling); Instruction; Practice; Adults need supports My take on all this…
    24. 24. END, thank you! Stephanie Jones: See briefs describing the Rigorous & Regulated Learning Environment esaux&pageid=icb.page660137
    25. 25. • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) examples: – Emotion knowledge, emotion vocabulary – Conflict resolution, cooperation – Empathy • Approaches To Learning (ATL) examples: – Filtering (ignoring distractions), attentiveness – Flexible problem-solving, initiative and curiosity – Understanding of and compliance with classroom rules • Executive Function (EF) examples: – Inhibitory control, working memory, attention control/shifting – Cognitive control – Self-control, self-discipline, delay of gratification – Self-regulation, behavior regulation Defining SEL Can Be A Challenge
    26. 26. Jones & Bailey, 2012 Executive Function: a foundation of core brain capacities and processes that support regulatory functioning across multiple domains and contexts. Each Regulatory Domain has specific knowledge, skills, and experiences/practice that support regulation in that domain. Regulatory Gestalt: over time, skills across domains are integrated into coherent system of regulatory functioning An Organizing SEL Model for Intervention/Practice
    27. 27. A Process for Deriving Outcomes and Benchmarks
    28. 28. Attention Control (AC) Pays attention to task on hand and ignores distractions Uses strategies to maintain attention Uses listening skills Working Memory (and Planning Skills; WMPS) Use strategies to make a plan (under direction of teacher) Carries out complex tasks Engages in goal-directed behavior Remembers and follows a series of commands Uses strategies to remember and follow commands Remembers and recalls information Response Inhibition (RI) Inhibits inappropriate responses Uses self-control techniques Waits Uses strategies to wait Cognitive Flexibility (CF) Easily transitions to new tasks Shifts from one part of a problem to another Compares and contrasts ideas Generates and updates hypotheses Downplays less relevant information when solving problems Approaches problems in new and flexible ways EF & Cognitive Domain
    29. 29. Emotional Knowledge and Expression (EKE) Identifies emotions in self and others Uses feeling words appropriate to the situation Appropriately uses a range of feeling words of varying intensity Uses “I messages” Emotional and Behavior Management (EBM) Uses the “Stop and Stay Cool” process when upset Uses other effective regulatory strategies when upset Uses feeling words to explain one’s behavior Empathy / Perspective Taking (EPT) Verbally acknowledges others’ experiences and feelings Verbally offers examples of times when one had similar emotions or experiences Uses active interpersonal listening strategies including asking probing questions, making eye contact, paraphrasing and reflecting, nodding and leaning forward Verbally acknowledges how another’s feelings differ from one’s own Emotion Domain
    30. 30. Literacy Instruction PRINCIPLES Social-Emotional Instruction …in meaning-based and code-based skills Provide direct instruction… …in emotion management, social skills, and attention … for discussing academic concepts and questions Use rich texts as a platform... … for promoting emotion language development, self reflection, and empathy …of words and how they work Cultivate Consciousness… …of our own feelings and the feelings of others …to build language and reading skills Increase classroom talk… …to build cooperation and conflict resolution skills …to support instructional cohesion across classrooms and grades Use consistent routines and language… …to reduce chaos and minimize anxiety, create common social norms Integrated Instruction, e.g.…
    31. 31. Rigorous - Engaging, stimulating content that builds over time for accumulated knowledge - Social-emotional & academic skills are promoted simultaneously Regulated - Consistent use of routines, appropriate limit setting, & rich language - Emphasis on relationship-building & emotional calm R2 Learning Environment A new approach: The R2 Learning Environment