Five Resources to Help You Learn About Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom

There is a growing body of research indicating that social-emotional learning (SEL) helps provide students with skills that are beneficial to them both inside and outside the classroom. Our newest research puts SEL at the core of skills students will need to be college and career ready. As the body of evidence on the value of SEL grows, so do the amount of resources on the topic and it can be hard to keep up.

Here are five resources to help give you a foundational knowledge in SEL:

1. Social-Emotional Learning: What It Is and Why It Matters

This short video from the Committee for Children gives an introduction to SEL that’s appropriate for all audiences. Although not a deep-dive into the subject, it helps illustrate that “social-emotional skills help us manage emotions, have empathy, solve problems, make responsible decisions and maintain healthy relationships.” Watch this video.

2. “When Social and Emotional Learning Is Key to College Success”

Emmanuel Felton’s article in “The Atlantic” uses student stories to help illustrate the power of SEL. He makes the case that “content knowledge isn’t enough to prepare students for life after high school” and that’s where social emotional skills come in. Felton does a good job of explaining the challenges that exist in helping making SEL available to students, but also ensure that its applied consistently, with quality and done equitably. Read the full article.

3. Spring Issue of “The Future of Children,” titled “Social and Emotional Learning”

The Brookings Institution out of Princeton University devoted an entire issue of their “The Future of Children” journal to SEL. The journal contains nine articles that help readers look at SEL from different vantage points, including public health, different age groups, equity and discipline, teaching and assessment. By addressing so many aspects of the teaching and learning experience, this provides a deep look into SEL and has articles relevant to teachers, school support staff and administrators. Access the journal.

4. “Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects”

This July 2017 study is a short read but packed with statistic that outline the value of school-based SEL interventions. The research shows correlations between SEL interventions improved competencies in areas like problem solving and relationships skills, improved academic performance and self-worth and smaller rates of drug use. The data also showed that SEL was equally effective across demographics and the effects of interventions remained in effect for up to four years. Read the full study.

5. Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice

So many of our social-emotional skills are learned in school. It’s in part for that reason that authors Joseph Durlak, Celene Domitrovich, Roger Weissberg and Thomas Gullotta explain that schools need to invest in effective SEL. They define effective SEL programs as being sequenced to help build grow skills, reliant on active forms of learning, focused on developing personal and social skills and explicit in targeting social and emotional skills. In this book, there are lessons that can be applied in the classroom, the school and in the community. Get details on this book.

Download “The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out” to learn more about how social emotional learning is a critical component in an evolving definition of both college- and career-readiness.

Kate Westrich

Written by: Kate Westrich

Kate Westrich manages digital marketing for KnowledgeWorks, tweeting for @KnowledgeWorks and @EdPersonalized, and posting at KnowledgeWorks' Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest pages.

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