I think we all understand how important these are as separate and distinct attributes, but our research showed that they really represent a constellation of factors that are connected. For instance, we talk about growth mindset as one piece of the persistence component which also includes grit and resilience. Within the self-efficacy component, we discovered the importance of Bandura's determinants of personal and vicarious experiences, verbal messages and physiological states. The emotional awareness component includes the concept of emotional intelligence and its reliance on self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skills. These social-emotional competencies were significant for all our students who achieved success despite huge barriers.
A national teacher survey conducted in 2013 found that 93% of teachers think it is important to promote social-emotional competencies. In addition, 95% of teachers believed that these skills are teachable. Carol Dweck (2011) has asserted that these competencies may matter more than cognitive factors.
Recently schools have begun to measure these competencies; however, there is much controversy swirling around the idea. Federal education law now requires states to include one nonacademic measure to judge school performance. In California, 20% of the schools have chosen four measures to evaluate: growth mindset, social awareness, self-efficacy and self-management. This learning will contribute 8% of the school's overall performance score. This initiative has become controversial. Some say that it risks "blaming the victim" who may come from an underserved population and thus comes to school with an added disadvantage.
Given the considerable evidence that these competencies do have an effect on achievement and success and that they are teachable, do you think we should be evaluating our students on them? Do you think that measuring our students' progress in part on the development of social-emotional skills is important? Do you teach and/or assess students in these areas?