Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child

About the Center for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child

Nancy Markowitz, Professor Emeritus at San José State University, started CRTWC at San Jose State University, using the K-8 Multiple Subject program as a case study to integrate social-emotional learning into teacher preparation. After seven years within SJSU, CRTWC moved to our new fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives. Our mission is to enhance our schools’ capacity to meet the needs of children and those educators who work with them by offering a process and framework for integrating social, emotional, and cultural (SEC) competencies into K-12 preservice teacher preparation. We believe that attention to social, emotional, and cultural competencies is foundational to the achievement of academic goals. CRTWC is unique in focusing on those preparing to enter the profession – developing both students’ and teachers’ social, emotional, and cultural competencies; nesting these competencies within the curriculum; and providing professional development to those who work with teacher candidates (university faculty, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers who host teacher candidates in their classrooms). CRTWC has created systemic change by transforming teacher preparation to integrate these competencies into course content and field experiences, developing new teachers equipped with the lens, skills, and tools to build supportive relationships with their students, and foster a healthy learning environment so that students achieve academic success and teachers and students can thrive.

CRTWC takes a systemic approach rather than providing an add-on program. We focus on bringing social-emotional learning skills together with culturally responsive teaching practices to move beyond what is sometimes considered a “white perspective”.   This combined approach equips new teachers with a social, emotional, and cultural lens that supports them in integrating these competencies into the content areas and leads to providing a learning environment where students can take risks, make mistakes, and support one another.  

Our organization shares this work by offering a yearlong Teacher Educator Institute (TEI), where participants from teacher preparation programs come together as a professional learning community to focus on how to explicitly integrate social, emotional, and cultural competencies into their programs.