Delaware Public Media

First State teachers see need for social and emotional learning

May 26, 2017

A new survey finds most First State teachers think social and emotional learning is critical to a student’s success.  


The survey results find 9 out of 10 teachers in the First State want to emphasize social and emotional learning in the classroom. And they want training as well.



“What the survey told us is that yes, teachers are interested and teachers believe the state should have some influence," said Robyn Howton, a Mt. Pleasant High School English teacher who helped conduct the survey for the Rodel Foundation.


She said social and emotional learning approaches teaching in a holistic fashion.  Educators don’t just give kids knowledge, they give them the skills to manage complex emotions and maintain constructive relationships.  


“So when we talk to kids about what kind of learner are you. Or we talk to kids about how to deescalate something when you get into an argument in class with someone versus ramping it up. It all falls into that realm,” she said.


Some elementary schools are already using this type of learning on an individual basis.




But Howton said the survey showed teachers want the state to craft a system wide plan for implementing social and emotional learning in grades K through 12.


Most teachers also think increased use of this type of learning will improve students’ overall behavior and academic success, according to the survey.


More than 200 First State educators in grades K through 12 participated in the Rodel Foundation survey.