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Social Emotional Learning

SEL is . . .

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.

Benefits of SEL

Research confirms and teachers, parents, and principals agree: Social and emotional competencies can be taught, modeled, and practiced and lead to positive student outcomes that are important for success in school and in life.

Decades of research studies demonstrate the following benefits of SEL:

Improvement in students’ social and emotional skills, attitudes, relationships, academic performance, and perceptions of classroom and school climate

Decline in students’ anxiety, behavior problems, and substance use

Long-term improvements in students’ skills, attitudes, prosocial behavior, and academic performance

Wise financial investment according to cost-benefit research

Learn more about CASEL’s research-practice-policy partnership approaches that advance ways that SEL supports equitable learning environments and optimal developmental outcomes for diverse children, adolescents, and adults.

CASEL Program Guide

CASEL Program Guide- view SEL programs and tools for implementation in your district, school or classroom:

Updated August 27, 2021 9:26am