By: Dr. Shulamit Ritblatt, Leading Expert in Social-Emotional Development and Early Intervention
The Circle of Education® program has been designated as a SELect program by CASEL, designed to be used with children from birth to eight years old.
What is the Circle of Education Program?
Circle of Education® Research and evidence-based program for ages Birth to 8, focuses on Social Emotional Wellness, Academic Development, Family Engagement, Learning Readiness, Behavioral Health and Early Intervention. The Circle of Education® program was developed by Dr. Shulamit Ritblatt, a leading expert in social-emotional development and early intervention. Dr. Ritblatt is a Professor and past chair (2009 – 2015) of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University and a co-founder of delibrainy LLC.
The Circle of Education® program has been designated as a SELect program in the CASEL Guide to Effective Social & Emotional Learning Programs. This designation indicates that the Circle of Education® program meets all CASEL’s criteria and can play a central role in a school’s approach to promoting student social and emotional learning and that it includes quality professional development and training to support implementation.
Who is CASEL?
CASEL: The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning is the world’s leading organization advancing one of the most important fields in education in decades: the practice of promoting integrated academic, social, and emotional learning for all children in preschool through high school. CASEL was founded in 1994 with the goal of establishing high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning as an essential part of education (preschool through high school). CASEL identifies and rates well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs with potential for broad dissemination to schools across the United States. Programs listed in the CASEL Program Guide must meet stringent requirements for research, design, and implementation potential.
Why CASEL Recognition is Important
The educational system has recognized the importance of social emotional skills to the learning process and students’ academic performance outcomes. Growing numbers of States have passed legislation requiring the inclusion of programs and materials enhancing the development of social emotional skills into the academic instruction. Many districts and schools are tasked with finding the appropriate social emotional learning program to be embedded into their systems. As many programs are available in the market place and all claim promising outcomes, there is a dire need for a rating/stamp of approval mechanism that can help and facilitate program selection. CASEL leads the nationwide effort of reviewing and recognizing SEL programs to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school.
CASEL Evaluation Process:
Since the start of the development of the Circle of Education® program, it has been Dr. Ritblatt, the program creator, goal to pursue and receive CASEL’s stamp of approval. To be included in the CASEL Guide and designated as the highest level of quality (i.e., SELect), programs must meet the following design, implementation, and evaluation criteria:
- be well-designed school-based programs that intentionally and comprehensively promote students’ social and emotional learning skills
- provide quality professional development and training to support implementation
- show evidence of effectiveness.
The CASEL comprehensive approval process:
- Detailed analysis the Circle of Education® program design process
- Research and evidence-based data analysis to support the evaluation and review by CASEL team of researchers. SELect programs have to demonstrate a positive impact on a behavioral or academic performance indicator in at least one of the domains.
- Following the approval of the research and evidence-based stage the Circle of Education® program materials (EduPod and ParentPod™) were reviewed and rated based on CASEL’s rating framework.
- The final step in the approval process was an extensive interview with CASEL designated evaluator.