The Curriculum Infusion of Real Life Issues (CIRLI) is the process of seamlessly integrating pressing life issues such as substance abuse, violence, social ostracism, bullying and the coronavirus into K-12 classes across subject areas. The design of real life issues class content incorporates current research on effective ways to foster student resilience and prevention. Where possible, the life issues curriculum also incorporates service- learning experiences that relate to the life issues curriculum and support academic and social-emotional growth.
The life issues curriculum is not separate from the learning objectives of a class. Rather, the relevant life curriculum substitutes for some existing class content as an alternative way to reach class learning objectives consistent with state common core learning standards.
The CIRLI model may be envisioned as the interaction between three main components:
I. Social Assessment of student and community culture- the real life issues students confront- as well as self assessment by teachers and staff of their own attitudes towards diverse student populations and the real life issues students face.
II. Integration of real life issues content into classes across subject areas, including integration of evidence-based prevention strategies and social emotional learning to build student resilience in relation to the life issues addressed in classes. Integration includes assignments and activities that effectively meet common core standards.
III. Service Learning connected to the life issues class content reinforces academic and social and emotional growth.
Community and School based service learning incorporated into the study of real life issues supports student educational and social-emotional development. Read More.
Free 5 CPDU online workshop through Northeastern Illinois University’s College of Education
Integrate pressing life issues into classes across the curriculum to effectively engage students in learning and support social emotional growth
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