CA schools look to add 'social emotional learning' to curriculum

By Lyanne Melendez | February 2, 2015 | ABC Ch. 7

All students learn the basics: reading, writing, arithmetic. Add to that compassion.

Nowadays, more and more California schools are including social emotional learning in their curricula. Some districts are even including it on students' report cards.

"Draw a picture of a time when you saw compassion or when you had compassion for someone else," asked Pamela Schulting of her fifth grade class at Bret Harte elementary in San Francisco.

Once they put it in pictures, they discuss a time when they were empathetic toward another person.

"Compassion is kinda like empathy, to put yourself in another person's place, like as we say in our classroom, put yourself in another person's shoes," said student Leah Maes.

Every Monday at 2 p.m., students at Bret Harte Elementary spend an hour on social emotional learning. What they discuss here is applied in every situation at school and at home.

"If we give kids language to engage in conflict resolution, we feel like they are much better as a result in settings like recess and in the cafeteria," said Principal Jeremy Hilnski.