Programming Our Children: The Social Engineering Agenda of 'Social Emotional Learning'
February 6, 2018 12:00 ET

"Social emotional learning" (SEL) is a new catchphrase that now permeates public education policy. An organization called the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is SEL's primary mover. CASEL claims that injecting its SEL agenda into all pre-k and K12 curricula will cultivate in children the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors necessary for academic achievement, such as empathy and regulation of emotions.

But veiled under the CASEL claim of building kids' self-confidence is a statist agenda of social engineering that insists on total conformity of thought. It disregards the genuine individuality of students and their familial relationships.

In this talk, Stella Morabito will focus on the propagandistic process of SEL (rather than its content). CASEL requires total compliance with its methods, with its content, and with its monopoly on how children are taught. It requires the monitoring and tracking of students' emotions. So, in the end, the SEL agenda enforces conformity, it invades privacy, and it undermines the influence of family and faith in a child's life. Instead of promoting strong relationships, as SEL proponents claim, the SEL agenda serves more to isolate children through a program of peer-modelled behavior modification that manipulates the human fear of being socially rejected. This sort of psychological manipulation is more aptly described as social emotional programming.

Stella Morabito is a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her essays have also appeared in outlets such as the Washington Examiner, Public Discourse, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and American Thinker. In her previous work as an intelligence analyst, Stella focused on communist propaganda and media analysis. That background informs her current interest in building public awareness of the ways in which political correctness and group think corrode human relationships. Stella has a Masters degree in Russian and Soviet history from the University of Southern California.

Related Resources