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At Turnaround for Children, they wanted to understand a series of key questions about the development of MESH skills, how they can be taught, and what the relationship is between these skills and adversity. 
CEO Pamela Cantor writes, "What emerged after a deep dive into scientific research from diverse fields is Building Blocks for Learning. It’s a framework for comprehensive student development, grounded in science, in service of equity. It suggests a developmental continuum that starts in early childhood but doesn’t stop there. It acknowledges that children don’t always get the same start in life and they don’t all follow the same smooth path through it. The paper contains the background and rationale to support and develop Building Blocks for Learning among all children, especially in grades K-12."

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In the Press


Want To Make Better Predictions?
NPR – Tania Lombrozo, February 22, 2016
Study: Showing Students Standout Work Can Backfire
Education Week– Sarah D. Sparks, February 19, 2016
Author: To Reach Struggling Students, Schools Need to Be More 'Trauma-Sensitive'
Education Week – Elisha McNeil, February 19, 2016
Study: Classroom Management Fixes Work Best When Addressing Social Emotional Needs
Education Week – Ross Brenneman, February 19, 2016
How to be a great mentor
Huffington Post – Tara Chklovski, February 19, 2016
When Trust Is Easily Broken, and When It’s Not
Harvard Business Review – Michael Haselhuhn, et al., February 17, 2016
For a Day, School Leaders Urged to Immerse Themselves in a Student's Life
Education Week – Evie Blad, February 16, 2016


It's Time To Co-Design Assessments With Students
Education Week – Starr Sackstein, February 23, 2016


Ed. Groups Urge 'Whole-Child' Approach to Counteract Poverty
Education Week – Denisa R. Superville, February 23, 2016

Beyond “Accountability” in Education: Multiple Accountability Theory
Education Week – Alexander M. Hoffman, February 19, 2016
White House wants to pair 1 million students with mentors to reduce absenteeism
The Washington Post – Emma Brown, February 19, 2016
Steering and rowing in the age of ESSA
FlyPaper – Andy Smarick, February 17, 2016
Principals Share Advice on Addressing Racial Bias in Schools (Video)
Education Week – Interviewer Ross Brenneman, February 17, 2016


Should How Teachers Develop ‘Grit' and ‘Growth Mindset’ Be Better Reflected in Teacher Evaluations?
Education Week – Nicole Gorman, February 19, 2016
Backgrounder: Indicators of Future Success: GPA and Non-cognitive Skills
National Education Association – Policy and Practice Department, February 2016

Recent Research 

School-Based Interventions to Promote Empathy-Related Responding in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Analysis
Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology – Tina Malti, et al., February 18, 2016
Abstract: Empathy has been identified as a core component of social and emotional functioning across development. Various prevention and intervention programs have utilized components of empathy-related responding to promote the development of children’s and adolescents’ social-emotional functioning and impede their aggression in school contexts. In this article, we assess the effectiveness of select school-based empathy interventions and the extent to which they align with developmental theory and research. First, we review current conceptualizations of empathy-related responding, identify its components, outline its normative development, and describe the need for developmentally tailored interventions. We then identify and assess the effectiveness and developmental sensitivity of 19 school-based programs with strong empirical support that target empathy-related responding across childhood and adolescence. Although the majority of these programs showed some degree of developmental differentiation between grades, none considered developmental differences within grades. Commencing interventions earlier in development and targeting higher numbers of empathy-related constructs were, in part, associated with larger effects. We discuss how future research can bridge the gap between basic developmental research and the design of developmentally tailored interventions to promote empathy-related responding.
Observed Emotions as Predictors of Quality of Kindergartners’ Social Relationships
Social Development – Maciel M. Hernández, et al., February 16, 2016
Abstract: This study evaluated whether positive and anger emotional frequency (the proportion of instances an emotion was observed) and intensity (the strength of an emotion when it was observed) uniquely predicted social relationships among kindergarteners (N = 301). Emotions were observed as naturally occurring at school in the fall term and multiple reporters (peers and teachers) provided information on quality of relationships with children in the spring term. In structural equation models, positive emotion frequency, but not positive emotion intensity, was positively related to peer acceptance and negatively related to peer rejection. In contrast, the frequency of anger provided unique positive prediction of teacher–student conflict and negative prediction of peer acceptance. Furthermore, anger intensity negatively predicted teacher–student closeness and positively predicted teacher–student conflict. Implications for promoting social relationships in school are discussed.
Exposure to Pre- and Perinatal Risk Factors Partially Explains Mean Differences in Self-Regulation between Races
Plos One – J.C. Barnes, et al., February 16, 2016
Abstract: To examine whether differential exposure to pre- and perinatal risk factors explained differences in levels of self-regulation between children of different races (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Other). Multiple regression models based on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (n ≈ 9,850) were used to analyze the impact of pre- and perinatal risk factors on the development of self-regulation at age 2 years. Racial differences in levels of self-regulation were observed. Racial differences were also observed for 9 of the 12 pre-/perinatal risk factors. Multiple regression analyses revealed that a portion of the racial differences in self-regulation was explained by differential exposure to several of the pre-/perinatal risk factors. Specifically, maternal age at childbirth, gestational timing, and the family’s socioeconomic status were significantly related to the child’s level of self-regulation. These factors accounted for a statistically significant portion of the racial differences observed in self-regulation. The findings indicate racial differences in self-regulation may be, at least partially, explained by racial differences in exposure to pre- and perinatal risk factors.
Enhancing emotion perception, a fundamental component of emotional intelligence: Using multiple-group SEM to evaluate a training program
Personality and Individual Differences – Sarah Herpertz, Astrid Schutz, & John Neziek, February 15, 2016
Abstract: This study evaluated a training program designed to improve the ability to perceive emotions in others, a component of ability-based emotional intelligence (EI). Participants, 105 students of business administration and management, were randomly assigned to a training group or a control group (time management training). The training lasted one day and was followed by 4 weeks of online training. Participants completed the MSCEIT before training and 1 month and 6 months after training. Multiple-group SEM analyses of latent means found that the ability to perceive emotions in others using the faces task of the MSCEIT improved in the training group but did not improve in the control group. Latent moderated SEM analyses found that participants who were high in agreeableness benefitted more from the intervention than those low in agreeableness, and a similar moderating effect was found for conscientiousness. Training effects were stable after 6 months. Training did not change scores on the MSCEIT pictures task. These results suggest that the ability to perceive emotions in others can be improved through training, but that personality traits moderate the effectiveness. Potential applications for such training are discussed.
Programme implementation in social and emotional learning: basic issues and research findings
Cambridge Journal of Education – Joseph A. Durlak, February 15, 2016
Abstract: This paper discusses the fundamental importance of achieving quality implementation when assessing the impact of social and emotional learning interventions. Recent findings in implementation science are reviewed that include a definition of implementation, its relation to programme outcomes, current research on the factors that affect implementation, and a framework for understanding the steps, actions and challenges involved in achieving quality implementation. Examples from the social and emotional learning literature are used to illustrate different issues.
The Relationship between Cognitive Ability, Emotional Intelligence and Creativity
Psychology – Adrian Furnham, February 14, 2016
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between IQ, EQ and creativity. In all 158 British adults completed a cognitive ability, creativity and emotional intelligence test. Cogni- tive ability was positively but not significantly correlated with divergent thinking (creativity) but significantly negatively with both facet and domain emotional intelligence scores.
Identifying the ‘‘truly disadvantaged’’: A comprehensive biosocial approach
International Journal of Behavioural Development– J.C. Barnes, et al., February 10, 2016
Abstract: There has been significant interest in examining the developmental factors that predispose individuals to chronic criminal offending. This body of research has identified some social-environmental risk factors as potentially important. At the same time, the research producing these results has generally failed to employ genetically sensitive research designs, thereby potentially generating biased parameter estimates. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by using both a standard social science methodology (SSSM) and two separate genetically informative research designs to examine whether parent, teacher, and peer risk factors are associated with four maladaptive outcomes: arrests, low IQ, reduced self-control, and a combined measure of the ‘‘truly disadvantaged.’’ Analysis of twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health revealed that the SSSMs produced upwardly biased estimates of the impact of social-environmental influences on each of the four outcomes. Once genetic factors were controlled, the effect of socialenvironmental risk was reduced (but remained significant in certain cases). We conclude by discussing these findings in the context of criminal justice policy and their implications for future criminological research.
Adequacy of the Sequential-Task Paradigm in Evoking Ego-Depletion and How to Improve Detection of Ego-Depleting Phenomena
Frontiers in Psychology – Nick Lee, Nikos Chatzisarantis, & Martin S. Hagger, February 9, 2016
Abstract: Self-control is defined as individuals' capacity to alter, modify, change, or override impulses, desires, and habitual responses (Baumeister, 2002; Muraven et al., 2005). Capacity for self-control is important and adaptive. Without it, we would be “slaves” to habits and impulses and unable to engage in sustained, goal-directed behavior. Loss of self-control has been shown to be related to numerous maladaptive health, social, and economic outcomes (Baumeister, 2002). Contemporary theories indicate that human capacity for self-control is limited (Baumeister et al., 1998). According to the strength model of self-control, performance on tasks requiring self-control draws energy from a general, unitary, and limited “internal” resource (Baumeister et al., 1998; Muraven et al., 1998). Because this resource is finite, the model predicts that engaging in tasks requiring self-control would lead to the depletion of the resource and reduced performance on subsequent self-control tasks. The state of self-control resource depletion is termed “ego-depletion.”
Transforming Education supports educators and education systems in equipping students with the Mindsets, Essential Skills, and Habits (MESH) they need to succeed in college, career, and life. 

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