[MUSIC] Welcome to module three of the third course of the University of Colorado at Boulder's MOOC titled, The Teacher and Social and Emotional Learning. In this course, we consider how we might expand on SEL programs for students through greater attention to issues of identity and culture, as well as power and privilege. In this third module, Examining "Success": Goals, Measurement, and Outcomes in SEL, we look at trends in how SEL has historically been assessed. We use this as a platform to consider the difficulty of measuring soft skills, like social emotional development, as well as the constraints associated with determining the success of exposure to SEL programming through secondary outcomes, such as its impact on academic achievement. If you joined us for course two, some of this material will be familiar to you. So, let's dig in. Since its inception in the mid 1990s the field of SEL has grown exponentially. Like most school reform measures or new approaches to curricula, there has been corresponding growth in research dedicated to investigating the efficacy of its use. Unfortunately, these studies and the measurement tools they use, are often program specific. On one hand, this makes sense as individual programs are in competition with one another in what is rapidly becoming a saturated market. Understandably, they want to use assessment tools that highlight the strength of their particular approach to SEL. On the downside, the use of widely disparate assessment tools makes comparison across programs incredibly difficult. The lack of a universal measure of assessment calls attention to two additional issues associated with measurement in SEL. The first being how to quantitatively measure social and emotional development. Existing assessments are designed for and best suited to individual assessment in the context of a clinical evaluation, which places an emphasis on individual skills absent of context, which negates the relational aspect of SEL. Additionally, currently available assessments are able to assess SEL comprehension, the understanding of SEL concepts, or execution, the ability to use SEL skills in practice, but not both at the same time. The second issue the lack of a universal measure of assessment calls attention to is that the primary way SEL skills are currently measured is with regard to their impact on student achievement. That is to say, another approach is not to measure social and emotional development directly, but to look at increases in individual students' academic achievement, as captured by standardized testing outcomes, as a means of conveying the importance of SEL to student learning. This is problematic for two reasons. First, this is a correlational rather than a causal relationship. There are many other variables at play here and it's not clear that students' improved academic performance is a direct result of exposure to SEL programming or from another intervention. Second, using academic achievement gains as a marker for SEL conveys the message that social/emotional development is not important for its own sake, but is a viable practice because of its impact on academic achievement. With that framing under our belts, let's take a look at the readings and materials that frame our exploration. The first reading for this week is a New York Times opinion piece by educational historian, Dianne Ravitch. In this brief but powerful article Ravitch articulates her frustrations with the notion of testing whether students are developing and exhibiting traits such as resilience, grit and joy. As you read, please consider how the trends she describes may be particularly problematic for students from historically marginalized backgrounds. For example, are there conditions in which it would be inappropriate to encourage individual students to persevere regardless of the costs? The second reading for this week is a chapter from the handbook of Social and Emotional Learning, Research and Practice, titled Challenges and Opportunities in the Direct Assessment of Children's Social and Emotional Comprehension, written by Clark McKown. As you read, consider what elements of his argument resonate with what we have already discussed in this opening video, as well as what is new information. Additionally, you will notice that he introduces a number of assessments in this chapter. As you read consider which of these assessments, if any, would be most useful to you in your circumstances. Finally, look out for the 7 guidelines he highlights at the end of the chapter. This is a helpful synthesis of the overarching points in the chapter, which can be easy to forget when you start focusing in on specific assessments tools and their corresponding benefits and constraints. Next, you will listen to an NPR podcast titled Is 'Grit' Doomed To Be The New Self-Esteem?, where Anya Kamenetz interviews Angela Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist who developed the concept of grit, as well as several administrators and policy makers. As you listen focus on the tension described between the need for skills to be assessable in order to prove their worthiness to be included in school curricula and the concern over both how valid these assessments are. Are they measuring what they are intending to, and what are the results being used for? Finally, you will watch two very brief video clips. The first of which features Maurice Elias, who as you might recall from course two, is the lead author of one of the originating texts of the field of SEL titled Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, published in 1997. As you watch this, consider his opening statement on measurements. He says, "Any area that is going to be important in education means we have to measure it.". How does this relate to the tensions surfaced in the podcast? Do you agree or disagree with this statement, both in terms of the reality of how school is currently structured and in terms of your ideal vision for schools? Finally, think about does your school use an SEL or character report card as he discusses? And if so, how would you rate its usefulness? The second video clip features Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl, a professor at the University of British Colombia who researches SEL and focuses on the role of SEL and teacher education. As you watch listen for the student-level outcomes of exposure to SEL programs that Schonert describes and consider what this means for how success is defined in relation to SEL.