Chicago High School Sees Success with Social and Emotional Learning

A school that prioritizes Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strives to guide students not just academically, but also through life lessons to help them build strong relationships and make good decisions.

Phillip Cantor, a science teacher at North-Grand High School in Chicago, recently penned an article for the Chicago Sun-Times about the success his public school has had by placing an emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL. A SEL educational strategy involves teachers building strong relationships with their students and serving as mentors who focus on their kids' social and emotional needs. Special courses are set up to help students dealing with particularly toxic personal issues. It's been shown that culling these academic deterrents improves students' performance and reduces the bad behavior.

Cantor has seen those results firsthand. He explains that SEL has made a big difference in both his school's atmosphere and with the students' academic achievement:

"Our focus on social and emotional factors has helped us increase our number of freshmen on-track to graduate (a measure shown to be highly significant for future graduation) and helped reduced the serious discipline infractions that can lead to suspension. Our attendance rate is high and our test scores have been slowly but steadily improving. Most importantly, our school is a safe place where students and adults know that caring and learning are important."

A school that dedicates itself to SEL would need to put its teachers and staff through training courses to help them identify students most in need of assistance. They are tasked with keeping tabs on students' social and home lives in order to help guide their decision making. Additional focuses are placed on building empathy and establishing strong relationships.

Read Cantor's entire piece at Chicago Sun-Times for more about SEL

Also: SEL at CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning)

Photo credit:  Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

Photo: Vladislav Muslakvo / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
Keep reading Show less

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less