The addition of just these few lines to the existing licensing language has far-reaching implications. Mounting research shows that high-quality SEL practices in schools support children in the pro-social skills they need to thrive. They are also foundational to building equity and addressing the opportunity gap: Teachers with strong SEL skills are better equipped to reach and teach students with a broad range of backgrounds and abilities. As it stands, individual school districts bear the financial burden of training educators and administrators in SEL if they so choose. The result is an inherent inequity; some students receive the benefit of embedded SEL, while other districts do not.
We know the child’s brain achieves 90% of its development before the age of four. Neural pathways are being wired by the stimulation of daily experiences, with significant implications for social and emotional competencies. These experiences happen through interactions with key adults in their world—caregivers and educators. If children are taught to understand and manage their own frustration, they will develop self-regulation. If they are taught to recognize and respect the emotions of others, they will develop empathy. Evidence-based research shows that children who gain these building blocks as part of curriculum significantly outperform their peers in key emotional competencies, self-regulation, empathy, and other prosocial skills. We see universities adjusting curricula to address this critical reality: that students’ emotional and social skills will be at least as important as their grades in their future careers.
Housman Institute supports this bill, and urges swift passage.
Sincerely, Dr. Donna Housman, Ed.D Housman Institute
At Housman Institute, we believe our role is to nurture the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of all students and educators without bias. It is critical that every child feel recognized and validated from their earliest days—to understand that their voice matters, regardless of background or experience and is being heard. We listen to, respect and support the needs of our educators as we recognize their critical role in a child's emotional growth and development. Together we need to begin the important work to help all our children and educators, as we move toward a more equitable environment for early learning, setting the stage for the building blocks of empathy and conflict resolution, and a more equitable future for us all. To learn more about how our program works to address equity in early childhood school communities... visit here.