I ran across a recent Edutopia sponsored Social and Emotional Learning blog post from Maurice Elias (a Psychology Professor at Rutgers) entitled “How Are Social-Emotional Learning and the Common Core Connected?” The post is essentially laid out in an interview format – Dr. Elias interviewing Kristin Fink and Karen Geller co-chairs of a group of educators representing the Education Advisory Council of the Character Education Partnership. This esteemed group of people developed and authored a white paper entitled, “Integrating Common Core and Character Education: Why It Is Essential and How It Can Be Done.”
In the blog interview (referring to the White Paper), Miss Fink & Miss Geller make the effort to highlight the vital need to, “explicitly address the quality of the learning environment or the culture of respect, responsibility, and excellence that must be in place for optimal student learning.” If the demands of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are to be successful in schools they believe that “conversations [about Common Core] must include a sustained focus on character education, social-emotional learning, and positive school climate.”
What does this have to do with adventure education? Essentially what I’m suggesting here is that, if you are working at, or with, a school aiming towards CCSS, dive into this White Paper to find supportive connects between your adventure education program and the suggested recommendations.
Here are just a few connections I found – things we tend to focus on in our adventure education programs (there are lots more!!):
We [i.e., teachers, administrators, parents] “want every child’s school to be a place where students and adults are caring and responsible, and committed to a learning community which values and supports everyone.” (p. 1)
“The Common Core…requires young people to develop the stamina to dig into challenging work.”
Three Ways to Strengthen Common Core (pp. 3-4)
Connections to a few of the Common Core Toolkit prosocial interdisciplinary themes (p. 8). The Toolkit is a Guide to Aligning the Common Core Standards with the Framework for 21st Century Skills:
Let me know how this White Paper supports/helps your adventure education efforts!!
All the best,
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.