'Kindness' Curriculum and Standards Are New Focus

Schools across the nation are beginning to strive towards making 'personal character', focusing on kindness, a feature of education for all students. Classes on social-emotional learning, celebrate mindfulness, kindness, and consideration. According to the Josephson Institute, 62% of the students believe that academic achievement is valued more than kindness by the staff.

A private school in Tampa, Florida, has adopted a philosophy of kindnessthat is "infused" throughout all school activities, and promoted all year long. Carrollwood Day is one of 70 schools around the country who have partnered with Harvard's "Making Caring Common" project, which is to make compassion an expectation of their students. This approach is not a 'class' from 9 am to 10 am, but rather a full-on embracement of extending kindness to all ages, by all ages, all year around.

While there is no 'assessment' to measure how well a person extends kindness to another, a ripple-effect of kindness spreading through the schools is evident.

Internationally, The Regional Institute of Education in Mysuru, Indiahas also been addressing this non-academic, but ever-so-important behavioral attitude of kindness and sensitivity. Working with a curriculum from 2005, many issues are coming to light that in 2005 were not really at a conscious level.

Oregon State is addressing the issue by developingethnic-studies standards into existing statewide social-studies standards, directed by the Oregon Department of Education. The curriculum and resulting standards would recognize the "histories, contributions and perspectives of ethnic minorities and social minorities", and be drafted by June 15, 2018. These Ethnic studies standards would then be adopted by 2020, with their implementation in schools set for 2021. This new law makes Oregon the only U.S. state to have ethnic studies for K-12. A few other states also have laws in the works, including Washington and California.

As our clients develop new content in response, EdGate will be available to align to these new standards.

By: Larry Johnson
Project Manager