It may come as no surprise that this concept is so central a theme to my work and to this website. Happy Kids Songs and activities have been specifically designed for kids hearts and minds!
Nonetheless, I get excited as each and every research project comes to the same conclusion: When children are exposed to consistent and quality social and emotional programs, and even when time is taken away from the academic curricula, academic scores go up. Hundreds of studies have demonstrated this same phenomena.
An article about some latest research on this topic is Social-Emotional Learning Can Support Test-Oriented Academics.
For years, schools have been teaching to the tests. Their funding depends on test scores, so why not spend a lot of time teaching the material to be tested? If you want to drive north you just drive to the north, right?
The answer lies in the fact that kids are not cars, and they also don’t function like little robots or computers. Input doesn’t equal output. They have challenges and overwhelming feelings that at times impede their learning. The emotional brain kicks in and takes over. Their hard drives get co-opted and hoodwinked into the upsets that inevitably occur.
Boosting social and emotional skills doesn’t take away the fears, challenges and inevitable changes in life that children face. It just helps them to better cope socially and emotionally, which in turn helps them academically as well. HAPPY KIDS LEARN BETTER!