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The Moral Implications of Social and Emotional Learning – by Frederick Hess

I’ve hosted a number of sessions about social and emotional learning (SEL) over the past six months, and one question that’s repeatedly come up is whether SEL is ultimately an attempt to repackage traditional virtues in therapeutic, pedagogical garb so that they’ll pass muster with bureaucrats, academics, and reformers uncomfortable with moralizing or religion. The concern is that, by ignoring the degree to which SEL is indebted to moral and faith traditions, advocates risk creating an ineffectual dogma that’s off-putting to Americans who take their faith seriously.

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