6 recommendations for supporting students’ social, emotional, and cognitive growth

Supporting students’ social, emotional, and cognitive growth can improve outcomes on other measures, such as grades, test scores, graduation rates, and success in college and careers. That’s just one of many conclusions from From a Nation at Risk to Nation at Hope, a new report from the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. The report is a culmination of two years of conversations, meetings, and site visits, as well as a review of research into promising education practices.

The report includes six recommendations, with examples, of how schools and communities can strengthen student outcomes:

  1. Set a clear vision that broadens the definition of student success to prioritize the whole child. This includes identifying the social, emotional, and academic knowledge and skills graduates will need.
  2. Transform learning settings so they are safe and supportive for all young people.
  3. Change instruction to teach students social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Embed these skills in academics and schoolwide practices, not just in stand-alone lessons.
  4. Build adult expertise in child development and the science of learning.
  5. Align resources and build partnerships between schools, families, and community organizations to address the whole child.
  6. Forge closer connections between research and practice by building new structures for researchers and educators to collaborate on pressing problems.

The report’s website includes the commission’s research, practice, and policy agendas; tools for helping communities follow these recommendations; and videos produced by Edutopia, in collaboration with the commission, showing how educators can support students’ social, emotional, and cognitive growth.

 

Source: National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. (2019). From a nation at risk to a nation at hopeWashington, DC: Aspen Institute.

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