A special guest post by Edmond Public Schools parent Emily Wright.
Three of my children have attended Heritage Elementary school for 2 years and have had a wonderful experience. The teachers, counselors and administrators are amazing!
The curriculum being used is Conscious Discipline. The counselors at Heritage write their own lessons based on this curriculum.
I was quite shocked at the description that popped up before clicking on the site link: Home - Social and Emotional Learning It reads:
"Conscious Discipline believes that trauma-responsive social and emotional learning (SEL) is a lens through which transformational change in the areas of racial equality, equity and inclusion is not only possible but essential."
|Look at all the labels for children!|
This sounds like a CRT, social justice, whatever you want to call it, platitude to me. A political indoctrination program for kids.
CRT is not just a legal theory taught at the college level. CRT is a movement, a conduit of identity politics which promotes the analysis of many aspects of society through the prism of racism and Marxist victim-hood mentality (oppressor vs. oppressed).
It's clear to me that CRT has been repackaged and renamed SEL.
On the Conscious Discipline's home page I also found the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) seal indicating that Conscious discipline has the CASEL SELect Program Designation.
Until recently CASEL downplayed the leftist political bent of SEL, however CASEL CEO, Karen Niemi, announced in December 2020 that her company "has revised its definition of and framework for 'socio-emotional learning' to highlight the value of SEL as a weapon for social justice."
Karen Niemi. "We know from research that attention to students’ holistic learning and development can promote high-quality educational opportunities and outcomes for all children across race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation and other differences.
Importantly, SEL has potential to promote the academic, social and emotional development of all children. SEL can also help adults and students co-create more equitable schools and communities.
While SEL alone will not solve the deep-seated inequities in the education system, it can help adults and students build more meaningful relationships and develop knowledge, skills and mindsets to interrupt inequitable policies and practices, create more inclusive learning environments and nurture the interests and assets of all individuals.
CASEL will work alongside researchers, educators and policymakers to address issues of identity, agency and belonging that are fundamental to human development"
This is obviously a CRT/SEL school curriculum publisher's clearinghouse. The NoVo Foundation is a funding partner of CASEL. NoVo focuses heavily on abortion rights, LGBT interests and left-wing economics.
CASEL is basically a political lobbyist group promoting SEL programs in schools and in the workplace.
"Conscious Discipline offers strategies for working with bias. This includes training for adults to examine bias and understand how it creates barriers to authentically connecting with students, assessing students SEL needs, and responding to conflict constructively and impartially. "
"Conscious Discipline believes that trauma-responsive social and emotional learning (SEL) is a lens through which transformational change in the areas of racial equality, equity and inclusion is not only possible, but essential." (See more in the screenshot below)
"However, Conscious Discipline recognizes that SEL alone isn’t enough to resolve longstanding inequities. We must directly promote equity, listen and learn from one another, and have conversations that feel challenging or uncomfortable."
"Ms. Bointy" has been a pioneer in using the Sanford Harmony social and emotional learning program."
"Sanford Harmony has been recognized by CASEL as a quality program."
"Students participating in Harmony reported significantly more diverse friends than did those from control groups. Furthermore, these peer influences were related to improved writing and math performance in classrooms using Harmony, but not in control classrooms."(DeLay, et al., 2016).
"How can we foster diversity and inclusion in our communities and support many students who have seen and experienced unrest and inequity?"
"Support students in developing their critical thinking skills and forming inclusive attitudes by providing students the tools to identify and reject stereotypes and seek friendships with a diverse group of peers. These skills help them be advocates for themselves and their families, peers, and community members now and in the future. Explore developmentally appropriate critical thinking skills about stereotypes and developing empathy for other points of view in the “Pop that Stereotype” activity."