Why is it so critical to seek-out innovative tools for the classroom that better cultivate mindfulness and pro-social behaviors among students? Because the dominant and traditional measures for a student’s ‘academic success’ in the United States education landscape—GPA and test scores—continue to marginalize what should be at the heart of education: a child’s happiness and wellbeing. For instance, an online survey of more than 20,000 high school-age youth reveals that the most common words used by students to describe their current emotions at school are: “Tired” (39%), “Stressed” (29%), and “Bored” (26%). (See Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence)
It does not have to be this way! We can change these troublesome trends right now. There are incredible new methods out there proving how social and emotional learning are supporting young people’s wellbeing. Educators within our Ashoka #ChangemakerEd network are supporting young people to thrive in today’s world of constant disruption with classroom innovations for exercising Empathy, Leadership, Changemaking and Collaboration. In this post, Tim Scheu— of Start Empathy— shares insights and powerful new tactics coming out of Momentous Institute’s Changing the Odds Conference focusing on social/emotional learning. It’s our hope to further explore with educators and schools how to scale up some of these ‘re-imagined education’ solutions that can amplify the social and emotional intelligence of our nation’s young people.