Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has been a hot topic among researchers for some time, but it’s still a relatively new and somewhat mysterious concept for many educators in the field. There is a wealth of information out there about this important subject, but it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to apply it.
If you’re wondering what SEL really is, where to learn more, and next steps for implementing an SEL initiative in your school or district, take a look at this quick overview of SEL basics and then continue your learning with the links we’ve provided to several trusted SEL resources.
What is SEL?
According to CASEL, 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
- Make responsible decisions
Learn more about SEL.
How can schools implement SEL?
SEL provides a framework for educators to identify and address the unique needs of students. Schools and districts can create a strong SEL culture by implementing the following elements into their strategic plans:
- Strong district leadership
- Systematic integration
- Comprehensive professional development
- Quality SEL assessments
Learn more about what a quality SEL implementation looks like.
What are the benefits of SEL?
A growing body of research demonstrates a clear link between quality SEL programming and improved academic outcomes. Students who have learned social and emotional competencies are more likely to:
- Attain higher test scores and GPAs
- Develop more meaningful connections with educators and peers
- Have improved attitudes towards self, school, and others
- Demonstrate positive social behavior
- Have fewer behavior incidents and decreased emotional distress, stress, and depression
Learn why teaching SEL skills is just as important as teaching core curriculum.
Bottom line, SEL makes teaching easier. Social emotional competencies can be taught through evidence-based curricula, intervention strategies, and established pedagogy. Teaching students social emotional competencies can lead to improved academic and life outcomes for all students.