This project is based on two strongly held beliefs:
- 360° – In order for children to grow into healthy and productive citizens, they must learn and practice a wide variety of inter-related skills – social-emotional, character as well as academic;
- 365 – Children learn in a variety of settings and year-round. This includes formal settings, such as school, and informal settings, such as afterschool, extracurricular, and summer youth programs.
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 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.
How Expanded Learning 360°/365 Will Support Learning
In order to see this change successfully executed, Expanded Learning 360°/365 will 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:
- Clearly defining the role that expanded learning plays in social-emotional and character skill development,
- Promoting that school and expanded learning leaders work together to integrate teaching strategies around these skills across the school day and into expanded learning time,
- Working with policymakers and district leaders to integrate these ideas into the policies that guide and govern schools and expanded learning programs, and
- Identifying and developing trainings and curriculum for school and expanded learning staff that include best practices for supporting these skills in their young people.
Toward these ends, Expanded Learning 360°/365 will partner with researchers and practitioners to provide advice on the development of policy and educational materials, the use of effective curricula, and training content and approaches for schools and expanded learning programs.