Photo by woodleywonderworks  at Flickr Creative CommonsPhoto by woodleywonderworks at Flickr Creative CommonsRoss Brenneman at EdWeek's "Rules for Engagement" blog reports on a recent pole, the "Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup annual national survey," that shows few Americans have heard of "Common Core Standards," which have been adopted by all but four states, and even fewer understand what they are.

However, according to Brenneman, "There was huge support for the idea that schools should address social-emotional skills. Over 50 percent of respondents displayed strong agreement with the following statements:

  • Today's schools should teach critical-thinking skills.
  • Today's schools should teach communication skills.
  • Today's schools should teach students how to set meaningful goals.
  • Today's schools should know how to motivate students.*
  • Today's schools should teach students how to collaborate on projects.
  • Today's schools should foster students' creativity.
  • Today's schools should promote students' well-being.
  • Today's schools should build students' character."

Brenneman continues, "Only 3 percent or less of respondents expressed any disagreement with those statements, except for the last one, which drew 8 percent overall disagreement."

A few months ago, another report demonstrated overwhelming support by teachers for the idea that social-emotional learning is critical to success in school, work and life.

As IIRP Director of Continuing Education John Bailie has pointed out, "Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has brought lots of valuable research on emotion and the 'hard-wiring' that drives us to community. Restorative practices has brought the means by which to engage in a way that is real and personal as well as the most successful interventions around harm."

This national agreement that schools should promote social and emotional well-being bodes well for the future of restorative practices, which has been shown to serve that need extremely well.

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