Social Emotional Learning

Research shows that Social Emotional Learning (SEL) not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors; such as kindness, sharing, and empathy, improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011). Effective social and emotional learning programming involves a coordinated classroom, school-wide, after school, family, and community practices that help students develop the five key skills shared in the video below and displayed in the pie chart.

Kids with a strong SEL foundation at an early age are more successful in school and daily life when they:

  • Know and can manage themselves
  • Understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them
  • Make sound choices about personal and social decisions

These social and emotional skills are some of several short-term student outcomes that SEL pro­grams promote (Durlak et al., 2011; Farrington et al., 2012; Sklad et al., 2012). Other benefits include:

  • More positive attitudes toward oneself, others, and tasks including enhanced self-efficacy, confidence, persistence, empathy, connection and commitment to school, and a sense of purpose
  • More positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults
  • Reduced conduct problems and risk-taking behavior
  • Decreased emotional distress
  • Improved test scores, grades, and attendance

In the long run, greater social and emotional competence can increase the likelihood of high school graduation, readiness for postsecondary education, career success, positive family and work relationships, better mental health, reduced criminal behavior, and engaged citizenship (e.g., Hawkins, Kosterman, Catalano, Hill, & Abbott, 2008; Jones, Greenberg, & Crowley, 2015).