How a changing society changes SEL

Two very different trends are having a significant impact on children’s social and emotional learning. Eric Schaps discusses age segregation and national testing

TWO SOCIETAL TRENDS with major consequences for children’s development ought to be considered in the design and implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. One trend poses a formidable challenge to SEL itself. The other poses a formidable challenge to effective, sustained implementation of school-based SEL programs.

The first trend is nothing new; it began some 200 years ago but has accelerated in the past 50 years. It is the stark pattern of age segregation that has developed throughout society, and that affects children in particularly profound ways.

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February 2010