Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Increasingly SEL has become a coordinating framework for how educators, families, and communities partner to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning.
When we refer to SEL, we acknowledge its complementary nature to other related areas, including: whole child development, positive youth development, character development, 21st century skills, workforce readiness, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), trauma-informed practice, restorative justice, and positive climate and culture for schools and communities.
An extensive body of rigorous research (including randomized control trials, longitudinal follow-ups, and multiple replications) demonstrates that education that promotes SEL gets results, and that teachers in all academic areas can effectively teach SEL. Evidence demonstrates that social and emotional learning (SEL) improves mental health, social skills and behavior, academic achievement, and college and career readiness.
Teachers are calling for schools to prioritize integrating SEL learning practices and strategies.
Principals say SEL is essential, but want more guidance, training and support to teach these skills effectively.
On average, for every $1 invested in SEL programming, there is a return of $11.