Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Social-Emotional Skills: Can Boost Common Core Implementation: Students Can More Easily Meet the Common Core's Tougher English Language Arts Standards If They Develop Critical Social-Emotional Learning Skills before or as They Go Along

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Social-Emotional Skills: Can Boost Common Core Implementation: Students Can More Easily Meet the Common Core's Tougher English Language Arts Standards If They Develop Critical Social-Emotional Learning Skills before or as They Go Along

Article excerpt

What's been surprisingly left out of discussions about the Common Core State Standards is the existence of an underlying set of attributes and competencies necessary for content-area success. Wraga (2010) says this reflects a narrow definition of what it means to be college- and career-ready. He decries the "near-total silence on the role of education in promoting individual development and democratic forms of governance" as limiting students' future accomplishments.

What we know about true success in college and life supports this view. College poses many challenges, particularly to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose dropout rates have been estimated as high as 90%. There is a tremendous emotional charge associated with many aspects of college, ranging from fears about family identity and acceptance, loss of peer groups, concerns about fitting in and managing the workload, implications of choices of courses and majors, how to establish a range of new relationships with peers and adults, and lifestyle choices about the use of leisure time, studying, eating, and sleeping. We know from an analysis of college dropouts that such outcomes are less the result of intellectual shortcomings and more due to deficiencies in the social-emotional and character competencies necessary for dealing productively with the challenging life situations of college and of just about every other schooling situation (Fink & Geller, 2013; Savitz-Romer & Bouffard, 2012; Zins et al., 2004).

Ultimately, we are preparing students for more than college and careers. We are preparing them to be productive members of society and valued members of their families and workplaces. …

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