Academic learning + social-emotional learning = national priority

High-quality schools not only ensure that all students are academically proficient in all subject matters, but also foster students’ reflection, social skills, perseverance, and positive mindsets. These latter skills and knowledge are developed through social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL “involves 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” (p. 10). This article argues for inclusion of SEL in classrooms pre-K through high school, particularly with integrating SEL standards with academic standards.

Content Comments 

This is a well-researched article and includes information about SEL and how students’ academic performance benefits it. The authors of this article are from The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a leading organization for SEL. Therefore, it is no surprise that this article uses CASEL’s definition of social-emotional learning, which is widely-used nationwide in schools and districts implementing SEL programs. The authors provide a strong rationale on how SEL is important in implementing college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, because these standards call on effective communication, collaboration, and interdisciplinary thinking. Although this article doesn’t delve deeply into actual implementation practices, it does provide some ideas of how states can get started with SEL education in their pre-K-12 schools.