July 20th, 2009

Stop. Think. Act.
Tom Roderick's Social And Emotional Learning At P.S. 24

Social and Emotional Learning at Public School 24 follows a curriculum designed by Tom Roderick.  For 25 years, Roderick has been instructing children in how to solve conflicts peacefully.  Reporter John Tulenko spoke with him about his work.

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Subject matter is absolutely vital for adults as well as children. I’m now 69 years and retired and still remember learning alongside of my children watching Fred Rogers on PBS. Maybe I’ll learn something from this program. Why limit it to children? Thanks for your efforts.

Thank you so much for providing this introduction to Tom Roderick and his innovative work at Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. He is spot on when he says that 21st century kids need more than just reading and writing. Our future as a nation and as a fair-minded member of the world community depends on our children developing respect, compassion and understanding for themselves and for others. Beginning early the the 4 Rs, helps kids develop the strength to speak up for themselves, to be sensitive to the feelings of others and to become empowered in the awareness that, moment-by-moment, their choices matter.

I live in WA state - what can I do to advocate for curriculum like this in schools here? I have two children (1 adopted at 6 yrs old, the other adopted at 15 months old with Asperger) Public school has been a stressor and a huge source of social emotional anxiety and feelings of failure for my kids. If I hear one more time “that does not fall within our realm of responsibility” I might make a social emotional mistake myself! We worked with my daughter in an intensely therapeutic way for 2 solid years after she came to us with profound social - emotional challenges. She has this iron clad tool belt and the public school system does not even support her use of it!

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