Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
By Karen Schumacher
In 2019 the Idaho State Department of Education (ISDE) Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra planned to request a 2021 budget of $1.99 billion. $1 million of that money was to be used for the development and implementation of training for Idaho educators in social-emotional learning (SEL). That request went nowhere pretty fast.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is one organization that pushes SEL, defining it as teaching children how to manage emotions, build relationships, and make decisions. This is broken down further into teaching self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, social awareness, and relationship skills as defined in its little “interactive CASEL wheel.” CASEL was the recommended program by an ISDE appointed group of state mental health workers and educators to “address youth mental and behavioral wellbeing.”
Because of opposition to SEL clear up into last year, references to SEL cannot even be found on the IDOE website. However, giving it a different label just might be the ticket, social-emotional “health.” In the Idaho Content Standards, it is described as “Mental, Emotional, & Social Health” for building wellness, instruction on positive self-image and self-esteem, recognizing emotions, and socially appropriate responses. In later grades the standards add “emotional intelligence.” The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare even has its own version of SEL, Social-Emotional Development. So again, even though there is opposition, the agenda just moves forward anyway with a few tweaks of some words.
But from where does promotion of SEL originate? Like everything else, the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In 2016, the WEF came up with Ten 21st-century skills every student needs, with a graphic for “life-long learning”, a term most Idahoans have heard over and over. But it is this image that catches the eye. How many of these targeted learning strategies align with SEL in Idaho? Golly gee, where is there anything about teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic?
In 2017, the WEF added “emotional intelligence“, a distinct difference from intellect and personality, with “four core skills” in personal and social competence, and is just one of several other “intelligence’s” it defines. The claim is made that “emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills—it impacts most everything you do and say each day.” Really? And from what twisted psychological source did the WEF research to create this? Or even Idaho in its standards?! When so much focus and emphasis is given to how one feels and behaves, especially for a kid, where is there time for learning, let alone executing, anything academically?
According to the WEF, boosting emotional intelligence is “the strongest predictor of performance.” Does that mean regardless of skills at a job it is more important to be liked, get along with everyone, collaborate, and compromise one’s values? Oh yeah, how pliable will that employee be for manipulation?
On page 13 in the booklet, how to Embed SEL into foundational ed-tech products is discussed. Since most ed-tech products focused on academics, the WEF saw the “opportunity for developers that want to embed features that already work in SEL into other realms.” One issue to also consider, these ed-tech developers who create these products are doing it for an “investment,” to make money, and making money they are. As students are forced into more online education, exposure to this propaganda increases, and the WEF knows it. The only barrier it sees is lack of access to the internet which is why 5G installation is being promoted and funded so heavily, regardless of potential risks.
One company the WEF identified as already embedding SEL into ed-tech products was the free online platform Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE). Think CERCA was another one. Do any Idaho schools use these products? According to the WEF, other technologies to help students develop social and emotional skills in the future include Wearable devices; Leading-edge apps; Virtual reality; Advanced analytics and machine learning; and Affective computing. All of these have the capability to track every student and ching, ching, ching for the corporations that create them. Is that why Idaho budgets are so laden with requests for education money, plus local levies and bonds? To bring this technology in that harms Idaho students?
For the future of SEL, a section on page 14 describes “How global organizations shape the agenda.” They sure got that right. United Nations organizations such as the OECD, UNESCO and the World Bank are shaping the education system right there with the WEF. The end of the video in the UNESCO link points out it is about “changing mindsets” and “challenging norms” and even has a “Building Kinder Brains” initiative using SEL. Yes, the intent is to manipulate children into its sick realm of fantasy. OECD takes credit for influencing global education reform through its tool PISA which Idaho uses (under International Assessments). The strategies for propaganda using ed-tech for SEL can be found on page 26 in the booklet. Students are being psychologically molded through SEL for the global corporate workforce just as academics have been manipulated for the same. The future global workforce is the only issue the WEF worries about when it comes to education. These control freaks have been working on this since at least 2015.
Going back to CASEL being the recommended program by the ISDE group, CASEL is supported by the Wallace Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and several corporate entities. Many of the individuals involved in the Wallace Foundation have deep ties to the United Nations and World Economic Forum corporate members, research, markets and globalization. CASEL is a highly funded and deeply ideological program with no mission other than to manipulate Idaho children further into the globalization well and collectivism. There are many who believe SEL actually teaches Critical Race theory concepts.
One more significant point in this issue, it is a prime example of how corporations rule over how and what kids learn. Corporations control the content in the technology, the education system buys and uses these products to teach the kids, and those products are often the only choice. The education system is at the mercy of corporate control over what kids learn. Corporate partner book publishers such as Pearson and tech corporations such as Microsoft control the education system with new scams for teachers to use and bring SEL propaganda into the classroom.
A big No Thanks to the ISDE and Sherri Ybarra for trying to bring this trash into our education system. Quit promoting global ideology for Idaho classrooms. Is it no wonder that academic proficiency has dropped when a student is taught to constantly think about how they feel, or if they are being collaborative, compromising, or not hurting someone’s feelings?
It is time Ms. Ybarra is booted out of her position as ISDE Superintendent of Public Instruction. It is time to elect an Idahoan who returns the education system back to teaching children true academics, how to really think critically, and foster each child’s independence in thinking. That is what the United States was founded on, individualism, not collectivism which is what SEL really teaches.
For legislators, how is it possible for the majority to continue ignoring this documentation? Or is it because they themselves have been indoctrinated into this future world, and have been convinced to believe that manipulating a child psychologically is a good idea, let alone taking away a parent’s responsibility for their children’s health. By the looks of it, legislators who support this have themselves fallen into the manipulative tactics so well designed for children. The state is not the parent of the child but that is where Idahoans are being taken.