Big Boost from Educator-in-Chief

The movement to advance social and emotional learning got a huge boost when Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared that the time has come to recognize that it�s �crucial� to success in school.

Education Secretary Touts Social/Emotional Learning

�Rather than treating social and emotional development and academic development as separate missions, it�s time to recognize that they are inevitably linked,� Duncan said in a recent groundbreaking speech to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, meeting in Washington, D.C.

�At the Education Department, we now recognize that non-cognitive aspects of early learning, like the ability to self-regulate and engage in cooperative play, are crucial to school readiness and success,� he said.

Those in the field who run evidence-based programs that build social and emotional skills welcome the growing recognition that developing these competencies unlocks learning, especially for children growing up in poverty.

All children deserve a strong social and emotional education to help them navigate the challenges of life.

It�s time for policy-makers at the state and federal level to invest in research-based program models that offer effective instruction with measurable outcomes. More resources for training and professional development will improve the teaching of social and emotional skills. Leadership from school superintendents and principals will help convince education stakeholders that these programs will improve the lives of children.

As Secretary Duncan signaled in his ground-breaking speech, it is time to do more to ensure that children receive a strong foundation of social and emotional capabilities.

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