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.
Effective SEL processes necessarily involve aligning relationships, instruction, structures, and systems in ways that are culturally responsive, developmentally appropriate, coherent, and beneficial for all.
Effective social-emotional learning (SEL) is a transformative and evidence-based educational process that teaches children, from pre-k through 12th grade, the mental skills that will significantly reduce emotional stresses that lead to violence and addiction, improve problem-solving skills, enhance empathy, raise academic test scores and increase resiliency.
The competencies attained by effective social-emotional learning programming include:
recognizing and managing our emotions;
developing caring and concern for others;
establishing positive relationships;
making responsible decisions; and
handling challenging situations constructively and ethically.
The most beneficial SEL programs are:
sequential and developmentally appropriate instruction in SEL skills;
implemented in a coordinated manner, school-wide, from preschool through high school;
reinforced in the classroom, during out-of-school activities, and at home;
giving teachers ongoing professional development in SEL;
uniting families and schools to work together to promote children’s social, emotional, and academic success.
* From Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Alliance for Massachusetts (SAM)
Positive Behavior Supports
Check it out! Social-Emotional Learning: What It Is and Why It Matters
From The National Commission on Social, Emotional, & Academic Development
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From the Prologue: "On the pages that follow, a broad alliance of leading scientists and scholars speaks with a unified voice about the urgency of integrating social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning to improve student outcomes. Under the aegis of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, the 28-member Council of Distinguished Scientists actively collaborated on and unanimously endorses The Evidence Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. These consensus statements of evidence—drawing from brain science, medicine, economics, psychology, and education research—unite the country’s leading scholars of learning in calling for the full integration of social and emotional learning with academic instruction. The Consensus Statements of Evidence affirm and explain that social, emotional, and cognitive domains are interconnected in the learning process. This powerful consensus presents a compelling case for policymakers and educators to confidently move forward in addressing social and emotional dimensions of learning as part and parcel of achieving excellent academic outcomes in K-12 education. The consensus statements and the research behind them are summarized in this brief, written by Stephanie M. Jones and Jennifer Kahn with the active participation of the entire Council of Distinguished Scientists. The Aspen Institute is grateful to the scientists who came together to align their broad expertise in the public interest. Without their thoughtful contributions, dedicated efforts, and earnest deliberations, this step forward on behalf of our nation’s students and schools would not be possible."
Ready to Lead: A National Principal Survey on How SEL Can Prepare Children & Transform Schools
"The idea of integrating the social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning – and the promise of improving our children’s outcomes and unleashing the power of schools and communities as spaces that nurture their full development – has galvanized the educational community’s interest with an enthusiasm rarely seen in the history of American education.
It is our hope, as the Co-Chairs of the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development, that this report will help America better understand how social and emotional development serves as a foundation for student learning. We also hope to connect readers to the perspectives of principals and administrators who engage in the day-to-day rewarding and challenging work of educating our children."