A focus on social and emotional learning with math and reading is helping students learn skills like awareness and responsibiity.

Focus on Social and Emotional Learning With Math and ReadingIn Seth Brown’s class at Wayzata West Middle School eighth graders drill equations, but they also learn about focusing before lessons , accepting mistakes, and adjusting their attitudes.

They are not only learning math, but social and emotional learning balances.  “Social-emotional learning” is an educational approach that is becoming increasingly popular.  It balances academic subjects with self control, relationship building, social awareness, self awareness, and decision making.  Because of the pressures put on children, supporters say it is necessary to learn along with academics.

“We kind of stress them out,” Brown said.

In the Twin Cities, Brown’s fellow educators say that when they teach “the whole child” they see improvements in both school achievement and classroom behavior.

“It’s the foundation of what we do in education,” said Minneapolis superintendent Ed Graff.  He gained national attention after   promoting the approach in Alaska.

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