Rachael Kessler Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) (100-150 word limit per response)
In her ground-breaking book, The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion and Character (2000), Rachael Kessler correlates the absence of attention to cultural diversity issues and inattention to the inner lives of students from underserved ethno-cultural communities with systemic crises in educational policies across the United States. She identifies seven domains crucial to nurturing the souls of students whose daily lives are severely impacted by poverty, crime, and violence.
Kessler explains the meaning of spirituality in humanistic terms, as opposed to religious terms. She discusses the proven effectiveness of the spiritual dimension of learning and the need for students to “own” their own spirituality and allow the spiritual dimension of their personhood into the educational process. Further, Kessler explains how teachers can implement the spirituality component of SEL in public school classrooms while complying with government policies regarding religion in public school education.
“The Seven Gateways” to social and emotional aspects of learning provides a model for student-centered learning that validates the need of students from underserved ethno-cultural communities to identity with their own spirituality. Kessler writes,
Traveling through the seven gateways to the soul of students—through connection, silence, meaning, joy, creativity, transcendence, and initiation—we found many opportunities for honoring the yearnings of [students]. In their poignant stories and profound questions, in their desperate acts of violence and self-destruction, our students express their longing for something more—for something deeper than ordinary, fragmented existence. (p. 160)
1. With regards to education of middle or high school youth, or adult learners, provide an example of an underserved ethno-cultural community in the United States. What is the ethno-cultural community’s geographic location?
2. After reading Kessler’s Living Story, tell how her work contributed toward redefining student-centered learning and teaching models in underserved ethno-cultural communities.
3. What is the value of the social and emotional dimensions of learning (SEL) to students of underserved ethno-cultural communities in the United States?
4. With regards to educational policies involving student spirituality, explain the urgent problems students face inside the selected ethno-cultural community and how SEL may help them to overcome those problems.
5. Explain how “The Seven Gates” principles could impact the educational and personal achievement of students in the selected ethno-cultural community.
6. Provide an example of each of the “The Seven Gates” principles.
-The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School
Paperback – March 15, 2000 by Rachael Kessler
Rachael Kessler’s Living Story
PassageWorks: Engaged Teaching and Learning
Kessler, R. (2000). “Conclusion: From Fear to Dialogue—From Standoff to Collaboration. In The soul of education: Helping students find connection, compassion, and character at school (p. 160). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
After completing the assignment please answer the following questions with few sentences based on the completed assignment.
– What was your most profound new learning acquired from completing this assignment?
-How will you apply your new learning to your life?
-How will you use your new learning to make the world a better place for yourself, loved ones, future students, and Sacred Others.