Editor’s note: This story was produced in conjunction with On Campus, a Civil Beat podcast series that tracks the first year of a new school in Hawaii and examines big education issues in America.
Nothing about the classroom looked abnormal.
Seventh-grade teacher Allison Harkey stood at the front of her Wheeler Middle School homeroom class. Kids peered over their notebooks, pencil in hand, at a PowerPoint presentation. Several students raised their hands to volunteer answers as the lesson went on.
But they weren’t learning math, language arts, history or science. Finding the right answer wasn’t as simple as solving an equation or bubbling in a circle.
Instead, students were challenged to think critically about their past behavior, and to better prepare for vexing social situations in the future.
Traditionally, schools have revolved around the academic development of students. But Wheeler Middle has joined the growing, national “social and emotional learning” movement that aims to prioritize …