What is SEL?

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) -the leading research experts on social emotional learning (SEL) in the world – SEL is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

More than twenty years of CASEL’s research has shown that SEL leads to improved academic and learning-based achievements, development of responsible behaviors during teen-age and adulthood, enhanced health and well-being (both physical and mental), as well as readiness for a workplace environment.

Children who have experienced social and emotional learning (SEL) demonstrate :

  • • As much as an 11 percent improvement in their achievement test scores,
  • • More positive connections with school and a greater enthusiasm for learning,
  • • Increased self-esteem and responsibility toward others,
  • • Fewer conduct problems and less emotional distress,
  • • Good character and citizenship.

While there are many different frameworks of SEL competencies and skills being used around the world, there is general agreement that SEL competencies are fostered into behavior best when there is explicit instruction of SEL skills, integration into teacher instructional practices, core curricula and school culture, and partnership between the school and home.