New reports on current SEL Initiatives

  • Transitioning: Out, Over, In, and Forward

    By Dale Blyth and Roger P. Weissberg Life and learning involve many transitions – transitions out of initiatives, transitions over to new ways of doing things, and transitions into exploring new ways to move forward. At times of transition it is critically important to express appreciation. We wish to express our appreciation to all those who have been on the journey with us and for those who are helping to create new opportunities moving forward. This blog is about the transitions we are making as the Assessment Work Group efforts transition out in June 2020, and we ensure its resources transition over to CASEL formally so they can continue to be accessed. Finally, it is about exploring new possibilities for […]

  • Adult SEL: Fully Measuring the Impact of Supporting Teachers

    By: Mark T. Greenberg, Chairperson, CREATE for Education, and Emeritus Bennett Chair of Prevention Science (Pennsylvania State University) The last two decades have seen an assault on America’s public schools and their teachers as evidenced by their de-professionalization, assault on their unions, and immense philanthropic support for charters and vouchers (Ravitch, 2020).  Teacher satisfaction has plummeted and many teachers left the profession out of frustration with the test accountability focus of educational policy and the narrowing of the curriculum (Greenberg, Brown & Abenavoli, 2016).  During this same period, the goal of creating caring and responsible students began to gain significant attention through the effective research (Durlak et al., 2011) and advocacy of the field of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL; […]

  • Enhancing Social-Emotional Learning with Self-Regulation for Learning

    By Richard M. Cash, Ed.D. (Education Consultant, nRich Educational Consulting, Inc.) Today’s world if far more complex than any other time in human history. Over the past two decades the world’s issues have become more interconnected than ever before. The economy, changing climates, health and wealth disparities, international and national conflicts, terrorism and (fill in the blank) ___phobias. The world truly has grown smaller. However, adults and children alike are becoming more socially isolated.   With advances in technology, especially in the social media medium, people can “unfriend” those who they disagree with, “block” people with differing points of view, or bully opponents either anonymously or from a distance. It is especially disconcerting when those in power or who have […]

  • Social and Emotional Skills Stealth Assessment

    By: Kate E. Walton, John Whitmer, & Jeremy Burrus – ACT, Inc. Can we measure social and emotional (SE) skills without using an assessment? Students’ SE skills are reflected every day in real-world behaviors, such as in daily interactions with online learning environments. Can these behaviors be analyzed in some way to provide scores and feedback on student SE skills? Here we discuss the results of an exploratory study which serves as a demonstration that this may indeed be possible. First, we discuss some of the challenges associated with assessing SE skills. We then propose linking learning analytics research and SE skill assessment. Next, we describe a study we conducted using learning analytics methods to examine associations between SE skills, […]

  • Practical Ways To Assess Climate And Social And Emotional Competence

    By Clark McKown, xSEL Labs Review: The Case for Climate AND (not OR) Social and Emotional Competence In a recent blog post, I discussed the peculiar rivalry between those who advocate assessing school climate exclusively and those who advocate assessing student social and emotional competence. I made the case that zero-sum thinking by which assessment of climate competes with assessment of competence is misguided. I argued that in the best of all worlds, educators would assess both climate AND competence and use what they learn to guide actions to create positive conditions for learning and to teach the social and emotional competencies students need to succeed. Let’s not join hands and start singing Kumbaya just yet though. After I wrote that […]

  • SEL-Related Wonderings for Educational Leaders

    By Julie A. Foss As a consultant with Advanced Learning Partnerships, I have the amazing privilege to work alongside educators in school districts across the country. I work in every quadrant of the continental United States and I can tell you unequivocally, people are invested in Social and Emotional Learning. Here’s what people get right. They care about kids.There is urgency around SEL as a priority.People see that SEL is connected to learning.Folks are acutely aware that SEL is not just a kid need, but an adult need too. There are two critical shifts that are needed and toward which I see people working. The Shift from Completion Data to Impact Data We collect participation rates, survey completion rates, discipline […]

  • The Importance of Measuring SEL Skills

    By Sarah Ura, Texas A&M University School-based SEL interventions demonstrate promising evidence to increase positive outcomes in students, such that students’ SEL skills are associated with increased academic success and well-being, and decreased risky behaviors (Durlak et al., 2011; Taylor et al., 2017). My colleagues at Texas A&M University, Sara Castro-Olivo and Ana d’Abreu, and I recently examined how SEL outcomes have been measured in previous school-based research.  Specifically, we analyzed 111 studies included in Taylor and colleagues’ (2017) meta-analysis of school-based SEL intervention follow-up studies and categorized their measurement of direct skills versus broad outcomes, instruments used, and alignment with CASEL’s 5-competency model. First, we extracted information from each study and identified whether the intended outcome was skill-specific and […]

  • Ready to Lead: A Principal’s Reflection on a Decade of SEL Reform

    By: Jennifer Scarpati, Ph.D. Ready to Lead:  A 2019 update of principals’ perspectives on how social and emotional learning can prepare children and transform schools, A report for CASEL by Civic with Hart Research Associates, by Matthew N. Atwell & John M. Bridgeland As the school leader, the principal is often the person driving the implementation process of social emotional learning.  The recent report for CASEL, Ready to Lead:  A 2019 update of principals’ perspectives on how social and emotional learning can prepare children and transform schools (Atwell, M.N. & Bridgeland, J.M., 2019), reflects strong support from principals for social emotional learning (SEL) in schools.  In fact, their report shows that 99% of principals believe SEL skills can be taught […]

  • Eight Key Design Principles for Direct Assessment of Student SEL

    By: Lindsay Read, University of Chicago Three years ago, members of the Assessment Work Group (AWG) began a multi-year Design Challenge effort to help inform a set of design principles for the direct assessment of student’s’ social and emotional skills. Today, the AWG releases the results of this effort – a set of eight design principles in a final brief that also captures examples that emerge from the third annual effort.  If you are interested in how to capture what social and emotional skills youth can actually demonstrate, we urge you to review the principles below (or the more extended discussion in the brief) and then let us know what you think by taking this very quick survey. Background — […]

  • A Process for Making Data Understandable, Useful, and Actionable

    By: Maria D. Guzmán-Rocha, YMCA of the USA   Ever wonder how to clearly connect the dots between the data we collect and the changes we make based on that data? As a result of stakeholder feedback, the YMCA of the USA (the national resource office for local YMCAs across the country) developed a set of resources that pull together best practices in implementation science, continuous improvement, and youth development research. These resources make up our evolving Making Meaning of Data (MMOD) process. The MMOD process ‘breaks down’ or ‘walks through’ systematically using data for continuous improvement. It is meant to make data understandable, useful, and actionable. The process of making meaning of data provides us with an opportunity to examine data […]

  • Stop and think before you act: Are you ready to assess?

    By: Jessica Newman, American Institutes for Research   I think there are a few things we can all agree on: (1) ensuring youth develop key social and emotional competencies is a fundamental part of education, (2) safe and supportive spaces are critical to those efforts, and (3) doing this work takes motivation and capacity. Cue the cheers of solidarity and consensus, right? And assessment is a useful tool that can help us understand how we are doing but here’s the thing: we so often start at the beginning of this list (#1 measure youth competencies) without first thinking about whether and how we are creating the right conditions (#2) or if we were even ready to start implementing a new […]

  • It’s About Time

    By: James DiPerna, Pennsylvania State University; Christopher Anthony, University of Florida; Stephen Elliott, Arizona State University   As SEL assessment developers working with schools across the country, we begin with two observations about SEL assessment. First, initiating and scaling up a systematic approach to SEL assessment is challenging. Although teachers and administrators openly acknowledge the importance of promoting social-emotional learning, they often (and understandably) express hesitation toward implementing SEL initiatives due to concerns regarding time. In our experience, teachers worry that devoting time to SEL will take time away from students learning the academic skills emphasized on state tests. To further complicate matters, many teachers already express being overwhelmed by the amount of academic assessments they are asked to administer, interpret, and […]