Author Archives

  • One way SEL assessment can support school community thriving

    By Christina Cipriano, Ph.D., Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Early in March I shared an update on the conclusion of a project- Catalyzing the Future Directions of Social and Emotional Learning Assessment. As part of that work, stakeholders from across the SEL field mobilized to embark on curating an initial set of open-source learning modules aligned to five areas identified as essential next phases of work for SEL Assessment – Leverage Existing Resources and Expertise, Promote SEL Data Literacy, Enable Equity, Engage Youth Voice, and Integrate SEL Assessment at the System Level.   Just days after the report was published, the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon our country, the field of SEL rushed to the calls for action from our school communities. […]

  • I’m From the Government and I’m here to Help: The Role of the State Education Agency in the Assessment of Social and Emotional Learning.

    By: Beth Herman and Clark McKown “We are looking for an SEL assessment tool and are wondering if you have any recommendations” she said. This question, commonly asked, seems like a sensible question. After all, we have trained our educators to collect data—copious amounts, in fact, and to engage in “data digs” and to use this information to guide decision making. So, on the face of it, there seems to be nothing wrong with this question. I responded “What do you want this data to tell you? What is your purpose for this assessment?” her pause, the silence on the end of the phone line, demonstrates the dilemma of SEL assessment. Assessment can be a magnificent tool and educators have […]

  • Continuous Improvement of SEL Implementation in the Washoe County School District: Deeply Embedding Continuous Improvement Into District Systems and Structures

    By: Duncan Meyers, Ben Hayes, and Laura Davidson The four most-recent posts on this blog have highlighted how districts that partner with CASEL engage in continuous improvement (CI) cycles. These posts were written by CASEL consultants and their district partners to provide practical examples that relate to CASEL’s overall approach to CI (see Figure 1), and the essential questions that drive it: “Where do we want to go?” “Where are we now, and where have we been?” “How do we get from where we are not to where we want to be?” “Are we moving in the right direction?” “What are we learning on our journey?” Those essential questions align with the three stages of the CI cycle, which are “organize”, […]

  • Continuous Improvement of SEL Implementation in Denver: Bringing In-School and Out-Of-School Educators Together to Reflect and Learn

    By: Duncan C. Meyers, Miranda Cook, and Kim Price Systemic SEL implementation is a multi-year process that requires planning, committing to carrying those plans out with quality, shifting and problem solving when plans hit snags, and reflecting on what was achieved to inform the path ahead.  Last week’s blog post focused on how Minneapolis Public Schools stakeholders collaborated on their journey within the “implement” stage of systemic SEL implementation. Denver is the focus of this blog post that highlights a practical example of the “improve” stage of CASEL’s continuous improvement continuous improvement model, where time is carved out at the end of each academic year to reflect on the questions, “what are we learning about our implementation efforts?” and “are […]

  • Continuous Improvement of SEL Implementation within Minneapolis Public Schools: Tracking the Journey and Pivoting Along the Way

    By: Rafiqah Mustafaa and Kate Diamond  Last week’s blog post highlighted Guilford County Schools’ strategic planning process during the “Organize” phase of systemic social and emotional learning (SEL) implementation. Once planned, a district enters the “Implement” stage in consistently documenting efforts and monitoring the implementation process to address challenges that arise. A key feature within this stage of continuous improvement is that of rapid learning cycles. When teams collect formative data, they engage with that data to make evidence-based decisions “in the moment” and potentially course-correct or reprioritize workstreams instead of waiting until the end of the year to reflect. This week’s post will share how the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) SEL team; MPS Research, Evaluation, and Assessment team (REA); […]

  • Continuous Improvement in Guilford County Schools: Organizing for the Journey Ahead

    By: Jessica Bernstein, Lisa Brenner, Ally Skoog-Hoffman, Bloodine Barthelus The last blog post in this series highlighted the CASEL continuous improvement framework and illustrated how it supports an iterative journey toward high quality systemic social and emotional learning (SEL) implementation. To contextualize what this looks like in practice, the next four blog entries will spotlight district voices from the field. This is the first of the four, featuring CASEL’s newest district partner, Guilford County Schools (GCS) – which serves the High Point and Greensboro communities of North Carolina. In this blog, we outline GCS’s thoughtful approach to how organizing this work paved the pathway for systemic SEL work. A Continuous Improvement Approach from Day One When GCS became a CASEL […]

  • The Journey of Systemic SEL implementation Using Continuous Improvement as a Guide

    By: Ally Skoog-Hoffman and Rob Jagers At CASEL, we think about continuous improvement (CI) as a roadmap that allows school-, district-, and/or state-level SEL teams to first think about the destination of their systemic SEL implementation journey, and then from there to map the “route” in reaching their proximal and longer-term goals. SEL teams start with the end in mind and cycle back to it – the “destination” is both the starting point for planning the journey and the place a team comes back to in each cycle of continuous improvement. We encourage educators to ask a set of essential questions when embedding continuous improvement into systemic implementation efforts: Where do we want to go? Where are we now and […]

  • Measuring Social, Emotional and Intercultural/Transcultural Competencies in European Context: Insights from the Policy Experimentation Project HAND IN HAND

    By:Ana Kozina, Educational Research Institute, Ljubljana, SloveniaNina Roczen, DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education, Frankfurt, GermanyAlbert Denk, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany “HAND in HAND: Social and Emotional Skills for Tolerant and Non-discriminative Societies (A Whole School Approach)” is a European policy experimentation project that involves eight institutions[1] across five countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark) and targets the need detected in Europe and internationally to develop inclusive societies (schools and classrooms) that allow every student to feel accepted and be able to achieve their potential, particularly in response to increasing discriminatory behavior some students are facing. HAND in HAND targeted this need with an innovative support system for school settings that combines the promotion of […]

  • SEL In An Unplanned Home School Setting

    By Clark McKown, xSEL Labs With nationwide school closures in effect, many households have become unplanned home schools, and parents have become teachers, with all of the responsibilities that go with the job, including setting the climate for learning, managing “student” behavior, and supporting student motivation. In my non-scientific sample of a handful of new home schools, one theme stands out: it’s hard work. Most parents will find their way through a combination of instinct and trial and error. There are a few things that parents as teachers can do right now that can make their teaching experience, and the experience of their children, go well. Most of our readers are educators, and many are also parents. I offer these […]

  • You Can’t Oops into Excellence: A Primer for Social Emotional Learning Implementation in High-Quality Youth Development Programming

    by Tasha Franklin Johnson, Ph.D. and Aasha Joshi, Ph.D., YMCA-USA Who hasn’t heard the statistic that it takes 21 days to change a habit? You know, remember when you most recently tried to start a new diet, engage in a new exercise routine or make a lifestyle shift. But if a behavior change or forming a new habit takes 21 days, then how many days are needed to change or develop a habit of mind? And, what if you want to change habits of mind for lots of people? How many days are needed to change an already up and running system? Grappling with these questions are essential to cultivating a game changing, training and development paradigm for character development […]