Hartfield Academy's Dr. Tyler Groves Writes Textbook on Social and Emotional Learning with a Christian Perspective

In an attempt to connect educational theory with Christian philosophy, Dr. Tyler Groves, Hartfield Academy's Director of Spiritual Formation, has co-authored and published a textbook titled "Growing with One Another: A Christian Approach to Social and Emotional Learning."
Dr. Groves embarked on this project driven by a desire to address the pressing need for social and emotional development within today's educational landscape. "Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is one of the most focused, researched, and propagated subjects in education today," he explains. "With the growing mental health crisis among adolescents, schools are focusing efforts on proactively giving students the social and emotional skills they need for an ever-changing world."

Recognizing a gap in literature regarding SEL from a Christian perspective, Dr. Groves saw an opportunity to contribute meaningfully. "Until this point, there has not been a robust engagement of SEL from a Christian philosophy of education," he notes. "I wanted to provide a solution."

The writing process was marked by collaboration and dedication. Dr. Groves teamed up with his mentor, Dr. Ken Coley, to bring their vision to life. "We had weekly phone calls where we would discuss our research and how it was informing how we developed the overall book," Dr. Groves shares. Over the course of nearly two years, they crafted a comprehensive text that integrates scripture and a Christian worldview with contemporary research in social science and education.

However, the journey to publication was not without its challenges. "One of the biggest challenges was finding the right publisher for our project," Dr. Groves reveals. "We were shot down by 10 or so publishers before connecting with the company that would take on our project."

Despite setbacks, "Growing with One Another" emerged as a seminal work that explores the cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral skills necessary for students to navigate the complexities of human relationships and emotions through a Christian lens.

Dr. Groves is quick to credit the invaluable support and guidance he received throughout the process. He acknowledges the contributions of colleagues such as Lisa Lucas, Amy Thornton, Michelle Rankin, and Dr. Kimberly Simpson, whose expertise and encouragement helped shape the book's content.
Reflecting his work, Dr. Groves hopes to challenge attitudes towards mental health and emphasize the importance of holistic student development. "God made us as mind, body, and soul, and he cares deeply about every aspect of our life—including mental well-being," he emphasizes.

As "Growing with One Another" finds its way into classrooms and libraries, Dr. Groves remains faithful in his commitment to equipping students with the tools they need to thrive emotionally, spiritually, and academically. "I’m proud to be at a school that is seeking to be proactive in the emotional development of each and every student," he concludes. "As we do this, I believe we are preparing students with the tools they need to live life and fulfill their God-given purpose."
Hartfield Academy is fully accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Southern Association of independent Schools (SAIS).