Want to better understand what SEL is, why it’s important, and where it happens? Our Framework, or the “CASEL Wheel”, is the best starting point. 

What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.

What are the SEL competencies?

Educators, families, students, community organizations, and researchers around the world use our wheel to better describe what SEL looks like in practice. The five broad, interrelated areas of competence are: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Want to dig deeper into any of these? Visit our interactive wheel for examples of each competency.

Where can SEL be taught and practiced?

Our framework takes a systemic approach that emphasizes the importance of establishing equitable learning environments and coordinating practices across four key settings: classrooms, schools, homes, and communities.

Jump to section

Access the latest, most trusted information on SEL
Sign up for our newsletters