Press Release

A Better Way Forward for Education – 2020 ‘Year in Review’ for Social and Emotional Learning

January 21, 2021

CHICAGO, IL – From the pandemic to school closures to nationwide mobilization for racial justice, our nation’s headlines serve as an urgent call for social and emotional learning (SEL). CASEL has released 2020: SEL Year in Review, which reflects on the past year and shows that with SEL there is a better way forward for our communities, schools, and students. The top stories of 2020 remind us that the systems in which we learn, work, and live must promote healthy development.

“We can find common cause and unity in prioritizing our youth and the systems in which they are educated,” said CASEL President & CEO Karen Niemi. “SEL can serve as the antidote to much of what ails our nation.”

The 2020: SEL Year in Review features notable SEL headlines from the past year, including a look at how CASEL contributed to those efforts. Highlights include:

  • More focus than ever before on the overall social-emotional well-being of adults and students
  • Global SEL market valued at approximately $1.3 billion
  • Growing SEL research base with developments in adult SEL, assessment, school-based programs, and more
  • Increase in state education departments prioritizing SEL
  • SEL as part of our response to heightened and persistent inequities
  • Educators emphasize SEL in the transition to distance and hybrid learning
  • Renewed focus on learning environments and settings
  • Correlation between widespread SEL adoption and broader education goals
  • Support for young people speaking out on current events, issues of inequity, and learning expectations
  • Positive federal attention to SEL from the incoming Biden administration
  • Successful inaugural international SEL Day with commitments to SEL from nearly 2 million people in 50 states and 35 countries
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