Are parents or teachers asking you if Studies Weekly Well-Being teaches Critical Race Theory? If they do, here are facts that you may share with them.
In the last few years, educators have looked to social-emotional learning (SEL) to help children grapple with the pandemic’s toll on their mental health. Through SEL, children learn how to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve goals, show empathy, maintain healthy relationships, and accept responsibility for their actions, according to The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
(For more information, read What Is Social Emotional Learning?)
Recently, social-emotional learning has come under attack as some raise concerns about Critical Race Theory: an academic framework that says racism is embedded in legal systems and policies, according to EdWeek. Some believe teachers and/or publishers use social-emotional learning as a gateway to introduce Critical Race Theory into the classroom.
The Purpose of Studies Weekly Well-Being
Studies Weekly does NOT use its Well-Being curriculum as a vehicle for CRT. (See our stance on CRT).
Senior curriculum specialist Larissa Chase and her team designed Studies Weekly Well-Being to help students and educators reflect on their behaviors, attitudes, and mindsets to promote long-term health.
“We want students to learn how to identify, label, and communicate their emotions so they can navigate the emotions they will experience as they encounter challenges, adverse experiences, successes and normal growth and development,” Chase said.
These life skills empower children to take care of their health, set goals, and work hard to achieve success. It does not advocate a social movement or political affiliation.
Each publication has engaging articles, images, and illustrations designed to help children understand abstract concepts at a developmentally appropriate level. Students learn about serious topics like addiction and losing a loved one in a way that’s appropriate for their age group.
Teaching Empathy and Social Skills
Lessons on empathy teach children to care about the feelings of others, be kind to their classmates, and recognize how each person has value and can contribute to the group.
Here’s an example from Well-Being PreK-K, Week 3.
Teaching students to be kind to their classmates creates a happier learning environment where every child feels welcome and safe. The Empathy, Social Skills, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Asking for Help units can also reduce class disruptions and prevent bullying or suicide.
What Do Students Learn About Good Citizenship?
Being a good citizen means getting involved and making a positive impact on the community.
In lessons like this one from Well-Being 3-4, Week 23, students learn they can change the world around them, which builds their confidence and gives them a sense of purpose.
The Good Citizenship unit does not tell students what policies or social movements to support. Students are encouraged to stand up for what they think is right and make the world a better place for everyone.
The Digital Citizenship unit teaches children to be nice to other people online and how to stay safe and avoid inappropriate content. It does not tell students what groups they should join or what opinions they can or cannot express.
How Does Studies Weekly Teach Students to Respect Others?
Studies Weekly Well-Being teaches students to appreciate what makes each person different and find what they have in common. Students also learn they can respect people’s beliefs, values, and opinions, while staying true to their own.
The Demonstrating Respect unit does not mention any specific minority groups but teaches students to respect everyone equally, regardless of what makes them different.
In the Communication Skills unit, some articles have cultural examples to show how people in different cultures show respect as may be viewed in this unit, Well-Being 5-6, Week 12.
These are given as examples of respectful communication and not as support for any sociopolitical movement.
How Studies Weekly Well-Being Empowers Students
Studies Weekly Well-Being teaches PreK-6 students to set goals, stay motivated, and take responsibility for their actions. Parents and teachers can appreciate how this curriculum helps children believe in themselves and discover their potential.
Life can be difficult, and while children should never use this as an excuse for poor behavior, it’s important they learn how to take care of their well-being. Developing a positive attitude and managing emotions help students do well in school and treat classmates and teachers with respect.
Lessons like these ones on anxiety, depression, and stress provide children with effective coping strategies so they can perform well in school.
When students know how to self-soothe and express their emotions appropriately, they realize health challenges or life traumas don’t have to hold them back from achieving their goals.
In the end, parents, teachers, and school leaders want the same thing – for schools to be positive learning environments where every child in the community feels safe and welcomed, and Studies Weekly is here to help.
Overview of Topics Covered in Studies Weekly Well-Being
- What Is Well-Being?
- Growth Mindset
- Dealing with Change
- Overcoming Fear
- Asking for Help
- Social Skills
- Learning to Collaborate
- Conflict Resolution
- Communication Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Dealing with Loss
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Good Citizens
- Setting Goals
- Positive Attitude
- Time Management
- Digital Citizenship
- Showing Respect
Studies Weekly’s Stance on Critical Race Theory
Studies Weekly does NOT take a stance on whether Critical Race Theory should or should not be taught in schools. We understand that your state’s Department of Education, individual school districts, and teachers should decide what’s appropriate for students. We respect everyone’s values and opinions and trust educators to do what is best for each child.
If your state’s Department of Education adds components of Critical Race Theory into its standards, then Studies Weekly will update your curriculum in the next edition. Our goal is to continue providing accurate and engaging science, social studies, and well-being curriculum that is fully aligned to your state’s standards.
Have questions about Studies Weekly Well Being? Visit our website to learn more.