By Dr. Tara Laughlin, Director of Readiness Curriculum at PAIRIN
The world is changing, and so too are the skills necessary to thrive in school, work, and life. Now more than ever, one’s success is linked not just to foundational academic knowledge, such as math and reading, but to competencies such as collaboration, decision making, and social awareness, often referred to as ‘social-emotional’ skills. These essential skills will not suddenly materialize; they need to be nurtured and developed just like anything else students are expected to learn. However, high-stakes accountability systems have increased pressure on educators, ensuring that most are faced with a daunting challenge they are not fully prepared to address: How can I purposefully ensure my students gain essential social-emotional skills while also learning the required content?
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