Defining SEL

Social and emotional learning (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.

Increasingly SEL has become a coordinating framework for how educators, families, and communities partner to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning.

When we refer to SEL, we are including systematic efforts to promote any or all of the following areas: social and emotional development, character development, 21st century skills, workforce readiness, employability skills, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), mindfulness, grit, growth mindset, whole child development, moral development, positive youth development, restorative justice, behavioral skills, positive climate and culture, and caring schools and communities.

For more information visit What is SEL? at CASEL.

SEL Impact

An extensive body of rigorous research (including randomized control trials, longitudinal follow-ups, and multiple replications) demonstrates that education that promotes SEL gets results, and that teachers in all academic areas can effectively teach SEL. Evidence demonstrates that social and emotional learning (SEL) improves mental health, social skills and behavior, academic achievement, and college and career readiness.

Educators Value SEL

Teachers are calling for schools to prioritize integrating SEL learning practices and strategies.

Principals Value SEL

Principals say SEL is essential, but want more guidance, training and support to teach these skills effectively.

SEL Investments Yield Returns

On average, for every $1 invested in SEL programming, there is a return of $11.

For more information visit SEL Impact at CASEL.