I’ve written and shared a lot about how uncomfortable I am with the “Let Them Eat Character!” agenda of some who try to co-opt Social Emotional Learning and use it as a substitute for challenging political, race and other socio-economic challenges facing out students and their families (see The Best Resources Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough). In fact, SEL is just a tool, though it can be an effective one (see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources).

That “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” perspective doesn’t only break along party lines, but this report that came out yesterday was interesting:

One of the characteristics of “blaming” low-income people for their economic plight sometimes focuses on a supposed lack of self-control. I’ve dealt with that issue several times (see Quote Of The Day: Poverty & Self-ControlThe crippling thing about growing up poor that stays with you foreverAnother Study Finds That Poverty Helps Create Lack Of Self-Control – Not The Other Way Around).  In addition, relatively recent research has also shown the role of trust in self-control (see Marshmallows & Trust).

Now, some brand new research takes on the idea of trust again as it relates to self-control and long-term planning.  And it finds that if people who are living in economically challenging circumstances feel like they are a part of a supportive community that has their back, they are more likely to have better self-regulation skills:

There has been plenty of research on the role of trust in schools (see The Best Posts About Trust & Education) and, if we needed any further evidence documenting the importance of our promoting and building it in our schools and classrooms, these new studies might provide it.

They just reinforce what key Social Emotional Learning researchers have found – it’s not just about pushing our students to put their nose to the grindstone: