Friday, September 21, 2018

Embedding SEL into STEAM/Science Study

I am proposing that my professional learning goal this year will be to study and embed SEL into science and STEAM study in explicit and meaningful ways. I have chosen this goal for a number of reasons:
  • SEL is essential to teaching the whole child, and teaching the whole child spells successful learning as evidenced in Darling-Hammond and Cook-Harvey's latest report, Educating the Whole Child: Improving School Climate to Support Student Success
  • SEL is critical to successful science/STEAM study, learning, and meaningful application--to solve today's problems, we need to work together as people, communities, nation, and world with apt social/emotional skills and actions.
  • There is not a lot of time in school to teach SEL as a discrete subject so to embed that teaching/learning into all disciplines in meaningful ways is to teach SEL in a real-world, integrated, and meaningful way.
Now, it's easy to state a goal, but it's more difficult to achieve that goal. Achievement demands success criteria and a learning plan as John Hattie clearly demonstrates in his terrific book, Visible Learning for Teachers, Maximizing Impact on Learning.

The success criteria for my goal will be that students learn about the essential points of SEL in developmental ways during science/STEAM lessons in 2018-2019. I will more clearly define those essential points as I move through the year, but essentially the points will include all areas of CASEL's SEL model

For specific lessons, I'll begin with a book I wrote with colleagues, Integrating SEL into the Academic Program. I will personalize and modify the lessons in the book to match the science/STEAM lessons I teach.

The learning path for this goal will include the following:
  • Learning experience-by-learning experience, reorganize to include the following:
    • A specific SEL goal
    • Visual image and explicit language that expresses the specific SEL goal on the learning experience lab sheet.
    • Short, engaging introduction via video, questioning, images, and experience
    • Short discussion about how we can make that goal explicit in the specific science/STEAM learning.
    • Science learning--typically including an introduction, active learning progression, and reflection/assessment.
    • SEL learning goal will be evaluated via observation, conversation, and an assessment and/or reflection question during each learning experience. 
  • Analyzing and reflecting on student responses, and using that information to better the SEL efforts in the next learning experience.
  • Inviting colleagues to share this goal with me.
  • Reviewing the goal and progress with my evaluator, administrators, team, and perhaps colleagues outside of the school.
  • Continued professional learning related to the goal including Pam Moran, Ira Socol, and Chad Ratliff's  new book, Timeless Learning.
I am very excited about this goal and where it will take the students and me with regard to meaningful learning and good living.