- The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has launched a free, online resource designed to help schools better coordinate social and emotional learning efforts and to implement programs with some evidence of effectiveness. The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL provides an interactive planner, step-by-step guidance, field-tested tools and continuous improvement processes to help educators implement SEL practices systemically.
- The release of the publication coincides with the increasing demand for practical advice concerning the implementation of SEL and follows the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development's final report, which encouraged the integration of SEL into all aspects of teaching and learning.
- While CASEL’s schoolwide implementation process was developed more than a decade ago, the newest guide was created over the past two years after field tests in schools. The new guide features detailed advice on how to build support for and plan SEL efforts, strengthen adult SEL, promote student SEL, and practice continuous improvement by collecting, analyzing and using data.
Educators, families and policymakers widely accept that social and emotional learning is an integral part of the educational process — not only for the impact it has on student learning in the classroom, but also for its growing relevance and importance in the workforce. Last month, the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development at the Aspen Institute released “From a Nation at Risk to A Nation at Hope,” which stresses the need for SEL skills in both schools and the workplace.
“Our nation’s economy and the nature of work are changing, and businesses today need employees who can work well with others, express their ideas clearly, and persevere when they face challenges,” Jorge L. Benitez, co-chair of the commission, said in a news release.
While much of the attention in recent years has focused on students social and emotional development, there is also growing recognition that teachers can also benefit from SEL as they interact with colleagues, protect themselves against burnout and model SEL competencies for students.
Despite the growing acknowledgement of SEL's place of SEL in education, only about 60% of teachers and principals reported setting goals for students' social-emotional learning in a recent RAND Corp. survey. A lack of communication, clear implementation plans and schoolwide assessment resources were some of the reasons cited as barriers to successful implementation.
In addition to the new CASEL guide, however, there are a growing number of resources to help school leaders with planning and implementing SEL for both students and adults. The Wallace Foundation's “Navigating SEL from the Inside Out” examines 25 leading SEL programs. Publications from Aspen Institute's commission also give school leaders a full toolbox for better planning, implementation and assessment of SEL.