Social and Emotional Learning at LCCS
Peter Hansen

In addition to core academic competencies, children today require a vast array of skills, attitudes, and values to succeed in the 21st century. In the January 2019 Aspen Report endorsed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning — From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope — the authors conclude that “the promotion of social, emotional, and academic learning is not a shifting education fad; it is the substance of education itself.”

At LCCS, we couldn’t agree more! In support of our vision – transformational learning through Christ - our students’ social and emotional development is one of our top priorities. As such, we’ve implemented an exciting new curriculum for the integration of social and emotional learning in middle and upper school: Habitudes for Social and Emotional Learning.

Habitudes is a curriculum offered through Growing Leaders that utilizes the language and images of today’s generation to help our students build the leadership habits and attitudes necessary for social and emotional success in school and in life.

Middle and upper school homeroom teachers facilitate the 13 Habitude sessions as they mentor and disciple students to develop biblical social/emotional habitudes. Parents also receive an overview of the session with additional ideas of ways to keep the conversation going at home.

Here is an example:

The first of the 13 Habitudes focuses on “The Iceberg” - responsible decision making and ethical responsibility.

The image of an iceberg represents a student’s leadership abilities and capacity for ethical responsibility and responsible decision making. The 10% above the water is a student’s skill. The 90% below the water is a student's character. It’s what’s below the surface that sinks the ship.

Responsible decision making is the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

Ethical responsibility is the duty to follow a morally correct path. It is the ability to recognize, interpret, and act upon multiple principles and values according to the standards within a given field and/or context. Ethical responsibility naturally flows out of character.

Much like ethical responsibility, we believe that the action of following a morally correct path is only part of the story—a mere 10%. On the other hand, a student’s character is what powers them to live virtuous and ethical lifestyles—the 90%.

Through this simple lesson, LCCS teachers challenge students to think through some difficult questions:

  • What is one event or action carried out by a political figure, celebrity, or public leader that wouldn’t have happened if they had been a person of character?
  • Has your character ever sunk the ship?
  • How can you learn from that experience to become an ethically responsible adult?

Students and teachers then share their own answers to these questions to help students process what it means to make responsible decisions.

It is our hope and prayer that in teaching the values of leadership, ethical responsibility, perseverance, and hard work, that our students will continue to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2).