New reports on current SEL Initiatives

  • SEL and Project-Based Learning

    By: Amy Hoffmaster, Citizen Schools  For nearly 25 years, Citizen Schools has built partnerships with schools, communities and industry mentors to bring real-world project-based learning to middle school students to close opportunity and achievement gaps. Building on our evidence-based afterschool programming, Citizen Schools has developed a new model, Catalyst, to provide science teachers in 6th – 9th grade with the curricular tools and additional supports necessary to integrate high-quality project-based learning experiences for students that include exposure to STEM professionals from their local communities. Catalyst pairs educators with trained STEM industry experts who volunteer in their classrooms and support teachers in leading high quality, hands-on learning experiences. These projects help adolescents develop the skills, mindsets, and networks they need to thrive […]

  • Realizing the Promise of Adolescence

    By: Nancy E. Hill, Harvard University   A recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, calls for a re-thinking and re-framing of adolescence. For too long, adolescence has been viewed as a period of risk and vulnerability, rather than one of discovery, innovation, and opportunity.   Thanks to recent advances in neuroscience and medical imaging, we now understand that adolescence is a dynamic period of brain development, second only to infancy in terms of the speed and extent of change, and a profoundly important time for growth and learning.   These changes show that the adolescent brain is particularly responsive to the developmental needs associated with this […]

  • Practitioners Talked; We Listened: Lessons from Building Consensus on Practical SEL Assessment

    By: Elizabeth Nolan and Deborah Moroney, American Institutes for Research As the saying goes,  “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” As researchers, we hear this quite a bit in our hallways, and we take this statement very seriously. For many reasons, the quote is true. Without measurement, we can’t determine whether interventions, programs, practices, and policies are working. Measuring SEL, broadly, provides crucial feedback about how adults employ practices and strategies to support social and emotional learning; how youth and adults are developing social and emotional competencies; and how agencies and organizations are systematically supporting social and emotional learning and development. Here’s the caveat to our favorite adage, though: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure well.” In the […]

  • New Report Examines State of SEL Assessments, Calls for Greater Coordination with School Policies, Programs, and Professional Learning

    A leading group of scholars, test developers, and educators has just released a landmark report that describes the evolving field of social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments and recommends steps for continued improvements.   The 53-page report, Student Social and Emotional Competence Assessment: The Current State of the Field and a Vision for Its Future, was developed over the past three years by the Assessment Work Group, managed by CASEL with leaders from the RAND Corporation, Harvard University, the California CORE Districts, Transforming Education, xSEL Labs, and several universities, nonprofit organizations, and school districts across the country. Clark McKown served as the lead author.   Key findings include: Social and emotional competencies can not only be taught—they can also be measured. […]

  • Lessons in SEL from the California CORE Districts

    By Thomas Toch, FutureEd Nearly a decade ago, a group of California school districts decided there was a better way to measure academic progress than relying on standardized test scores alone. The CORE Districts developed surveys that would gauge school climate and social-emotional dimensions of learning. Since 2016, they have been administered to nearly 1 million students annually. Now as educators across the nation embrace the importance of school climate and student engagement, the experience in the CORE Districts offers valuable lessons about both the benefits and challenges of using surveys to measure SEL. The survey results across the six districts identified some troubling trends that educators are working to address. African American students, for instance, feel less of a […]

  • Focus on SEL Assessment at the 2019 SEL Exchange

    *Please note that the SEL Exchange is sold out. For those unable to attend, CASEL will be sharing materials online, insights from presenters, webinars on selected topics, and more during the coming year. For updates, follow along at @2019SELExchange or subscribe to CASEL’s monthly Connections newsletter.   On October 3rd and 4th, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is hosting the 2019 SEL Exchange, an inaugural conference on social and emotional learning for 1,500 global participants. The 2019 SEL Exchange offers a unique and timely opportunity to gather individuals committed to the comprehensive development and success of all students. It is designed to address the pressing questions of the field itself so participants can learn with and […]

  • Back to School Means Back to SEL for America’s Teachers and Principals

    By Laura Hamilton, Christopher Doss, and Elizabeth Steiner   Educators across the U.S. are embarking on a new school year, developing lesson plans and figuring out their students’ academic needs. They are also likely to be considering ways to support the non-academic aspects of their students’ development. Teachers and principals know that to be successful in college and careers, kids need to master a range of social and emotional skills such as teamwork, communication, and the ability to manage their emotions. Schools are increasingly adopting social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices to build these skills, and policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about emphasizing SEL, what they are doing to promote SEL, and […]

  • New Help in Finding the Best Framework for Your Work: Check out the New Descriptive Framework Series

    We are excited to announce the final series of our Framework Brief series! The Descriptive Brief series intends to help practitioners and organizations determine their priority needs and provides illustrative snapshots of prominent frameworks in the SEL field. This new series provides a guide to prioritizing needs and rating frameworks to see which best fits your context.   In previous series, we helped Frame ways to use and work with frameworks, Learn about the importance of development and equity, and reviewed existing efforts and tools to Compare frameworks and their competencies – including state standards. Given the multitude of SEL frameworks – at least 136 by AIR’s count! – it can be confusing and difficult to choose which framework can […]

  • Student Engagement and Voice in SEL and School Climate Systems

    By: Kay A. Augustine, Ed.D., Iowa Department of Education The growth of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in research, practice, and visibility in the media is building in momentum and focus. With this comes the expectation of producing evidence and accountability for the efforts taking place. As the field grows in depth and breadth, the challenge is to keep a focus on SEL as a process and to engage all stakeholders, including students in the efforts. SEL and School Climate As the field provides opportunities for considering the impact of SEL implementation, it is important to recognize that SEL and school climate relate, intersect, and influence the impact of each. Osher and Berg (2018) underscore that to have a healthy school, you […]

  • Rigorous Fun: Implementing Research-based SEL in OST settings

    By: Tricia Maas and Joan Duffel, Committee for Children   Research and logic make clear that social-emotional learning (SEL) is increasingly effective the more it is reinforced throughout a child’s day. With approximately a quarter of children in the US attending afterschool programs, the potential to extend SEL from school to out-of-school time (OST) is tremendous. Committee for Children (CFC), with support from the Wallace Foundation, sees this truth as an opportunity and is developing an SEL program for OST settings. Creators of the widely used school-based Second Step program, CFC carries 35 years of deep expertise in evidence-based SEL. We’re developing a growing appreciation for the power of OST environments in developing and reinforcing social-emotional competencies. We hope to […]

  • Beyond Past Paradigms: Building a Global Ecosystem for the Future of Learning

    By: Dominic Regester and Louka Parry Never before have we had more societal data and technology at our fingertips. Yet the promise of an education that appropriately equips for the challenges and possibilities of the modern world remains too often unfulfilled. Of course, measurement has always played a role in education, but our challenge today is to move beyond narrow academic measures and mechanistic narratives and try to better measure and promote learner growth and human development. This measurement challenge has many parallels in other industries. In the management world, for example, people often repeat the mantra, “what gets measured gets managed.” This quote is often misattributed to the management guru Peter Drucker when, in fact, it was actually academic […]

  • Three Steps for Supporting Intentional SEL in Out-of-School Time

    By: Jessica Newman and Deborah Moroney; American Institutes for Research There is a lot of attention to SEL, both in and out of school. If you are reading this blog, it is likely you care very much about the topic. In this post, we focus our attention on SEL in out-of-school time (OST), which includes before and after school programs, community-based programs, and summer programs, and informal learning settings like museums, libraries, and recess. A key recommendation in the recently released call to action for whole child efforts, A Nation at Hope, was to intentionally partner outside of the school. This is common sense: children and youth spend 80% of their waking hours outside of school. Further, we know that […]