Comparing and Aligning SEL Frameworks: Helpful New Approaches and Tools

By: Dale A. Blyth


In previous blogs about the series of Framework Briefs created as part of Measuring SEL, I have written about the importance of SEL Frameworks to help unite what we do as well as ten criteria for selecting one,  and the importance of using both equity and developmental lenses when considering which  frameworks might work best for your SEL initiative.  Today we release the new Comparative Series of Three SEL Framework Briefs that represent three very different efforts to look across frameworks and help you compare where they come from, how they are aligned or misaligned, and how states are using frameworks in building their K-12 SEL learning standards.  They represent cutting edge approaches to understanding frameworks in different ways.


The first brief is by Stephanie Jones and her team at Harvard working on the Taxonomy Project.  This project has worked for a couple years to carefully code the SEL competencies in different frameworks in order to create an interactive thesaurus and visual tools for comparing the similarities and differences between frameworks.  The brief illustrates how they profile each framework, provides a useful comparison chart of the 16 different frameworks they have coded so far, and describes the thesaurus and 3 visual tools.  Go to their website to sign in and learn more about using these exciting tools to gain new insights in your search for a framework or trying to align different frameworks already in use.


The second brief is by Juliette Berg and her colleagues at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and describes their effort to gather and analyze 136 different SEL frameworks from multiple fields. The very breadth and scope of this effort is impressive as is the special attention to frameworks generated for different cultural and special needs populations. In addition to noting their full report – which I strongly encourage you to also examine because it contains lots of useful information on where frameworks come from and the SEL competencies they identify – the brief talks about what they learned from this work and the critical importance of context.


The third brief in the series by Linda Dusenbury, Nicholas Yoder, Caitlin Dermody, and Roger Weissberg from the CASEL Collaborating States Initiative examines the K-12 SEL Learning Standards of the 14 states which currently have such standards. The brief not only looks across the states to see how whether they are using the CASEL framework but also whether they are addressing several key issues from developmental perspectives to equity considerations.  The brief also includes an appendix with information and links on what each state has done.  This is a must-see brief for those in working in these states but also for those in other states trying to develop standards and address developmental considerations.


We hope you will find these exciting new tools and briefs helpful as you seek to better understand what frameworks to consider and use in your work.


Please use the comments box below to let us know whether and how these are helpful as well as tell us what else you would like to see or wish for in this area.



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