The following is a very brief overview of a complex curriculum. For the sake of brevity - this just touches on the highlights. Over 26 years ago, CASEL (the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) introduced SEL (Social Emotional Learning).
Since its introduction it has morphed in many ways. The most recent and significant change came in 2020. The parameters of the 5 core competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). The SEL curriculum focuses on the emotional rather than physical/factual. I believe that students in the Public School arena should be taught the basics: reading, writing, math, science, civics, history (State, US, and world) and leave ‘emotional training’ alone.
The SEL curriculum is rooted in social activism. There is a fine line between speaking up, being involved in your community, and supporting others and teaching things that align with ideologies such as BLM, CRT, class conflict, intersectionality and racial division. I am concerned about public schools fostering the idea of severing the bond between parents and their children.
Do we really need more divisiveness in our world today?
SEL is focused on feelings and teaching children to be emotionally driven instead of giving them the intellectual tools to be critical thinkers. In the process it can bring separation between children and their parents. The school is overstepping and rather than focusing on academics, they are replacing it with conformity and group-think. In CASEL's own words - SEL is a 'lever for Equity and Social Justice'.
What I'm seeing is that SEL attempts to replace the family in teaching children values and social norms. In terms of SEL the government’s values are taught-not the parents or the family’s values. I do not believe the school or the federal government should be setting norms for or mandating anything related to the emotions and beliefs of our children. It is my unalienable right as well as a legal precedent to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare and mental health of my child, especially the formation of their attitudes, values, and beliefs! (Read: Title 25— Parents bill of rights)