Is it a wonder?
While third-graders in Anchorage schools have a hard time reading, you might be interested know the school district is working on how kids feel and interact.
Alaska Public Media reports the district for 20 years has been gradually, mostly informally introducing “Social-Emotional Learning,” which emphasizes social skills and emotional management, which educators say is critical for academic success.
But SEL is “notoriously abstract and hard to measure,” APM reports. “Even its champions lament that there are huge inconsistencies in basic terminology. What one set of guidelines label ‘empathy,’ might be indexed elsewhere as ‘self-awareness’ or ‘active listening.’ “
The report details a class exercise: “For about an hour, the students … label emotional reactions, and navigate hurtful feelings by enacting short skits: first the kids are purposefully mean to one another, then they have to apologize and move forward.
“ ‘Ha ha, you didn’t get thee quiz right, and I did!’ teased one little boy, very convincingly. Then, he course corrected.
“ ‘Oh, sorry, you did good on the quiz, sorry you didn’t get all the questions right.’ ”
The Anchorage School District now is working to further define exactly what SEL is and solidify terminology.
All that while third-graders in Anchorage schools have a hard time reading.