I’ve written a lot about the value of gratitude in the classroom, both in demonstrating it to students and in encouraging students to express it themselves (see The Best Resources On “Gratitude”). There are clearly many benefits to cultivating that sense of thankfulness in our lives and in our classrooms.

I’ve also written a lot about the danger of those who push the use of Social Emotional Learning Skills as a replacement for, instead of an addition to, the needed public policy changes to impact many of the challenges facing students, families and communities (see The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning and The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough).

Today, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich pointed out another potential danger zone in the SEL arena – her column The Selfish Side of Gratitude appeared in The New York Times.

Though I think she’s too dismissive of the benefits of people expressing personal gratitude to others they know, she makes the very important point that there are critical ways to express thanks in pushing for political change, too. And that those possibilities often get ignored in the push for the first kind.

Here’s an excerpt:


It’s another important example demonstrating that Social Emotional Learning isn’t enough…