What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

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. – The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)





What are Social and Emotional Skills?

Social and emotional skills are the tools both children and adults use in social interactions and to manage every day emotional responses. Things like social awareness, setting goals, and taking responsibility for oneself are imperative to maintaining healthy relationships and practicing self-care.

In a recent study, students who participated in evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs (like the DESSA System) scored 13 points higher academically, had a 6 percent higher high school graduation rate and were 11 percent more likely to graduate from college.


Did You Know?

According to a CASEL 2011 meta-analysis of 213 studies involving more than 270,000 students, those who participated in evidence-based SEL programs showed an 11 percent gain in academic achievement compared to students who did not participate in SEL programs.

A 2015 study by researchers at Columbia University found that the measurable benefits of SEL provide an average return on investment of $11:1.

98 percent of school principals surveyed in a 2017 research study believe that their students would benefit from being taught social and emotional skills.

Why Should We Assess Social and Emotional Skills?

More and more, schools and afterschool programs are recognizing the importance of understanding their students’ social and emotional competencies. Systems like the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System can help education personnel make informed decisions about how best to support the social and emotional skills of their youth.

Aperture Education’s DESSA System provides research-based assessments, data-interpretation and implementation ideas, and growth strategies to help organizations implement successful social and emotional learning initiatives. As one of the only assessments for social and emotional learning validated through years of research, the DESSA System can provide your program with quantitative results to support your social and emotional learning outcomes.

To learn more about our assessment tool, the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), visit our DESSA page.


What Type of Resources Do You Provide?

The DESSA Comprehensive SEL System provides:
– The Devereux Students Strengths Assessment (DESSA) – a research-based SEL evaluation instrument
– Growth strategies and foundational practices for classroom, small group, individual, or take-home settings; including teacher-reflection activities
– A comprehensive system for reading and interpreting data from the DESSA
– Support from Aperture Education’s dedicated implementation team

Want to learn even more about Social Emotional Learning? Read our two blog posts to give you more insight into why and how SEL is used to support the education of the whole child.


Social & Emotional Learning: The Basics

What is Social Emotional Learning?