Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child

Our mission is to enhance the capacity of schools to meet the needs of children and their educators by integrating social, emotional, and cultural competencies into teacher preparation and on-going professional development.

The Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child (CRTWC) envisions a world in which educators are supported to continually develop their own social, emotional, and cultural competencies. Educators, in turn, consistently support the development of their students’ social, emotional, and cultural competencies so that children are resilient and able to reach their full potential.

Our Operating Principles

  • We are child-centered
  • Our work is a support function to teaching and learning
  • We recognize that each educational “system” (e.g. university) has a unique context and we account for distinct circumstances to achieve the best outcomes
  • We create an environment of inquiry and take an evidence-based approach
  • We take a collaborative, participatory approach
  • We seek equity for all and promote respect for diverse voices
  • We recognize that cultural and racial variables are intertwined with social-emotional well-being

Who We Are
Founded in 2009 at San José State University to address the need to integrate social-emotional learning skills, dispositions, and habits of mind with culturally responsive teaching into preservice teacher education, the Center for Reaching & Teaching Whole Child (CRTWC), is anchored by a small professional staff of 3; a distinguished 18-member Board of Advisors; a complement of highly skilled and effective teaching professionals; and strong partnerships with educational institutions including schools, districts, and nonprofit organizations. Community Initiatives serves as the CRTWC’s fiscal sponsor.

Who We Serve
University teacher preparation programs, school districts, researchers and practitioners of the social-emotional dimensions of teaching and learning

What we do
The Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child accomplishes its mission by:

  1. explicitly identifying the intersection between social-emotional learning and culturally responsive instruction;
  2. identifying high leverage practices that address SEDTL/CRT;
  3. developing materials such as videos and written teaching cases to provide educators with tools to practice using an SEDTL/CRT lens;
  4. forming effective partnerships to support the expansion of SEDTL/CRT instruction in pre-service programs; and
  5. studying the impact of our efforts to integrate SEDTL/CRT into the teacher preparation curriculum to inform next steps.

Strategic Priorities
The Center has developed three strategic priorities to guide the organization in the next three years.  These priorities build on the Center’s considerable strengths and early accomplishments while addressing issues that may create challenges for the Center in serving the needs of our stakeholders – teachers, the university, our community, and ultimately children — and achieving our vision. The priorities are:

  1. Enhance and expand products and services that support SEDTL/CRT-focused best practices in classrooms and preservice programs
  2. Scale CRTWC’s work and impact
  3. Engage in research to evaluate the effects of our work on graduates and other universities
  4. Ensure a sustainable organizational model