Emily Talmadge: Reform’s New Buzzword: “Social Emotional Learning”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Whenever you listen to the rhetoric of “reformers,” you must always bear in mind that what they mean is actually the opposite of what they say. “Reform,” for example, does not mean that they want to improve public schools; it means “privatization” and the elimination of public schools.

Emily Talmade, teacher-blogger in Maine, says that we must be wary of the new reform focus on “social emotional learning.” They do not mean that teachers and parents should pay attention to children’s ability to work and play well with others, or to their feelings of adequacy and self-worth.

Behind the new buzzwords is a renewed effort to push competency based education (CBE) and computer-based teaching and assessment. The leaders of the new reform movement hail from the tech sector–Gates, Zuckerberg, Reed Hastings, Pearson, and more–and they see a future of computer-driven education, teaching and testing at all times, measuring and ranking…

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