By Sam Piha
In the last decade, research on learning and the brain, and the impact of social-emotional and character skills, has expanded our understanding of learning. Currently, we are witnessing a significant pivot from a narrow focus on academic performance, measured by standardized reading and math test scores, to a broader perspective of young people’s development that includes and promotes social-emotional and character skills.
This shift is based on recent research on the importance of social emotional learning, non-cognitive skills, growth mindsets, and character skills. Much of this is reflected by the new Common Core State Standards, the CORE Waiver’s focus on social-emotional accountability, and Expanded Learning Quality Standards being developed in many states.
In order to see this shift fully realized, a number of capacity building organizations came together to form a new project, entitled Expanded Learning 360°/365: Skills for Success in School, Work, and Life. These organizations include ASAPconnect, California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC), Learning in Afterschool & Summer (LIAS)/Temescal Associates, and Partnership for Children and Youth.
This project is designed to help policymakers, district and school leaders and expanded learning providers better identify and integrate social-emotional and character skills into their work with young people. We will accomplish this by:
Because we have seen a recent proliferation of lists identifying critical skills for youth, it is easy to see why some afterschool leaders are confused - “Which list is most important; which list should I use?” The Expanded Learning 360°/365 project convened a research work group to distill these lists into one list. We will share more in our next post. Meanwhile, to learn more, click here.
Sam Piha is the founder and principal of Temescal Associates, a consulting group dedicated to building the capacity of leaders and organizations in education and youth development.