What is SEL?
- SEL skills help children manage their own attention to become powerful learners.
- SEL skills include recognizing and managing emotions, caring for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions and solving problems. These skills allow children to calm themselves when stressed, make friends, resolve conflicts respectfully, and make ethical and safe choices.
- SEL is a way to help children (or adults) develop basic emotional skills for life success. We all need emotional intelligence to handle ourselves, our relationships and our work effectively and ethically.
- SEL skills support schools and families in working together to promote children’s emotional, academic and social success.
- SEL is a a framework for school improvement. A program such as Toolbox that teaches SEL skills in a structured and coordinated way helps create and maintain safe, caring learning environments.
Source: Adapted from CASEL SEL Basics
Research Shows That SEL Programs Empower Academic Success
In July 2010, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) released a major new report that clearly and convincingly demonstrated how SEL programs boost academic performance.
The main finding: Students enrolled in an SEL program scored an average of 11 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests over non-enrolled peers.
Moreover, the study also found that when compared with peers, the SEL students displayed other statistically significant advantages, such as
- Enhanced skills
- More constructive attitudes
- More positive social behaviors
- Fewer conduct problems, and
- Lower levels of emotional distress.
CASEL based its findings on a rigorous meta-analysis of 213 studies of SEL programs.
Download the report’s highlights (PDF 66KB).
Sources: Social and Emotional Learning Research Group (University of Illinois at Chicago) and CASEL.