With the Head and the Heart: Harnessing the Power of Social and Emotional Learning Under ESSA

Research now confirms what is often intuitive among parents and educators: How a student interacts with their peers, approaches their schoolwork, and forms beliefs about learning has profound implications for how they perform in the classroom. What’s more, schools can play a critical role in shaping these beliefs and skills. In fact, research shows that schools play a sizable role in developing students’ beliefs about their intellectual capacity, their sense of belonging in school and the world, their eagerness to learn in the face of adversity, and their strategies for academic and lifelong success.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides state and district leaders new opportunities to cultivate positive student mindsets, skills, and habits. But what opportunities lie in ESSA exactly? And how can state, district, and school leaders usher in this new era of student learning, harnessing the power of social and emotional competencies?

At this event, the Center for American Progress and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year will present two timely reports on how policymakers can leverage provisions in ESSA for the advancement of social-emotional competencies, learning mindsets, and learning skills. The National Network of State Teachers of Year will share findings from their focus group sessions with educators, in which they assessed opinions on the role of measures of social and emotional competencies in educator evaluation. CAP will also share their findings on the available pathways in ESSA for the advancement of learning mindsets and skills.

Following the release of these reports, the event will proceed with a panel discussion among researchers and practitioners. Questions the panelists will address include:

  • What implications does recent research on social and emotional development have for federal, state, and local policymakers?
  • What is the role of teachers and schools in fostering social and emotional competencies and skills?
  • Can we measure student competencies like growth mindset, empathy, or grit? If so, do these measures have a place in accountability systems?

Featured panelists:
Ulrich Boser, senior fellow, Center for American Progress

Elizabeth Glennie, senior research education analyst, RTI International

Amalio Nieves, assistant superintendent of social emotional learning and wellness, Boston Public Schools

Rebecca Snyder, Pennsylvania state teacher of the year 2009

Moderated by:
Katherine Bassett, president and CEO, NNSTOY; New Jersey state teacher of the year 2000

Location

Center For American Progress, H Street Northwest, Washington, DC, United States

Additional information

Accessibility:

Closed-captioned-enabled video will be posted following the conclusion of the event.
If you require ADA-related accommodations for your in-person attendance at this event, please email events@americanprogress.org as soon as possible so that we may assist you.