Making the Case: Compelling Data

This growing library features data points that describe the impacts and outcomes of student-centered and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning. The data is sourced from research studies, evaluation reports and journal articles, as well as evidence collected directly by classroom, school, district and state leaders using student-centered and personalized learning approaches.

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    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Educators Link Social-Emotional Learning to Academic Outcomes

    According to a nationally representative sample, most teachers believe social emotional learning improves learning. 83% of the educators surveyed by Education Week said they feel social-emotional-learning has a positive impact on academic outcomes.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Educators and Parents Agree Relationships are Critical to Success

    In a 2022 national survey of changing educator and parent views, 97% of administrators, 98% of teachers and 90% of parents felt relationships were the most critical social emotional component of student success.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Small Changes Honor Student Voices Post-Covid in Connecticut

    By soliciting student input and following through on changes, even small ones, a Connecticut school is making student voice an integral part of their culture post-COVID. A survey of one ELA class showed that after the changes, 90% of students felt their voices were valued.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Teachers Emphasize Relationships After Pandemic Schooling

    Interviews with 50 teachers and additional focus groups showed a desire to build deeper relationships with students and families post-COVID by continuing strategies like student office hours, assigning all staff to connect with specific students, virtual messaging and virtual family meetings.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Social-Emotional Learning Benefits Vulnerable Students

    A study of Chicago students showed the most vulnerable students benefit the most from attending schools that focus both on academics and social-emotional learning. SEL increases graduation rates for high and low-income students, with low-income students seeing the biggest impact. 

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    District Leaders Rate Social-Emotional as Important as Academic Skills

    In a national survey of school counselors and district staff, 72.5 percent of district leaders indicated that building students’ social-emotional skills is as important as academic knowledge. Counselors have a critical role in delivering social-emotional learning.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Social-Emotional Factors Play a Role in Student Engagement

    The top five factors influencing student engagement all focus on the whole child. Creativity and self-expression was ranked highest, with 85% indicating a positive impact on engagement. Whole child factors ranked higher than factors like academic growth.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Higher Performing Schools Feature Close Teacher-Student Relationships

    Teachers at higher performing student-centered schools stayed with the same cohort of students for an average of 2.5 years, compared to lower-performing schools at 1.5 years and reported forming close relationships with 75% of students versus 50-75%.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Positive Student-Teacher Relationships Lead to Better Health Outcomes

    Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health shows that student- teacher relationships have an even bigger impact on long term adult health than student-peer relationships.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Small Groups and Flexibility Lead to Positive Learning Conditions

    Surveys and interviews with educators during COVID-19 indicated smaller groups and flexibility in shaping learning environments around students’ needs led to stronger relationships. 57% could better support social and emotional well-being in small groups.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Comprehensive Student Advising Shows Promising Evidence

    This research brief examines the research base for comprehensive student advising, looking at the ways it fosters relationships, social capital and student agency. It concludes there is promising evidence of impact (as defined by the US Department of Education).

    Competency-Based Learning

    Project-Based Learning Improves Collaboration

    In a study investigating the student-level impacts of high quality project-based activities, teacher evaluation determined that 71% of students demonstrated proficient or above in collaboration skills.

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