Frameworks, Frameworks Everywhere — What are Practitioners to Do?

By: Dale Blyth and Teresa Borowski


As SEL has both gained credibility and popularity the number of different SEL-related frameworks has grown and the use of the same words to mean different things as well as using different words for the same thing has become problematic.  The Assessment Work Group (AWG) responsible for Measuring SEL and others in the field recognize the problems this can create in practice – Which framework does one choose? Which competencies does one seek to build in young people? How do you rally around a common language when each department or program or service uses a different framework?  To tackle these issues the AWG established a Frameworks Subgroup co-chaired by Roger Weissberg and Stephanie Jones.  Over the next six months the Measuring SEL website will release four series of briefs designed to help practitioners better understand, compare, and use SEL frameworks.

  • The first series will talk about what frameworks are, how they are used, criteria to consider when selecting one, and examples of different ways of dealing with frameworks in practice.
  • The second series will focus on different ways to compare frameworks and cutting-edge work that done at Harvard to connect or align across frameworks and the American Institutes for Research to better understand the large number out there (see their recent blog)
  • The third series will focus on special topics that are often critical to selecting and working a framework – such as how frameworks address developmental differences across ages and grades or how SEL efforts can and should connect with equity efforts or how one district’s use of SEL frameworks evolved over time.
  • The final series will provide a brief, easy to use basic overview of the most critical information about each of the top 10-15 frameworks using input from the framework developers themselves as well as ratings of how well the framework and related materials address key criteria of clarity and support for use in practice

We hope these series provide new perspectives and tools that makes it easier for practitioners to look across multiple frameworks, identify similarities and differences between them, and make decisions about what to focus on or which framework or frameworks best fit their specific needs and context.

To make this series most helpful for practitioners, and to be sure we are describing the frameworks you most see and use in practice, we are once again seeking your help.  To see what frameworks we’ve gathered so far and are considering, please follow the link to our new survey and also let us know which ones you know about or are using in your work.  The survey also asks about the kinds of issues you would like these and future briefs to address. You can see results from previous survey here.

Thank you for your input and help! We appreciate your time! The series of briefs that result from your input and the work of the Frameworks subgroup will appear monthly here. We also hope you will let us know how useful these are and how they can be improved.

If you want to make sure you are notified when new briefs are released, please join the growing  Collaborator Network of over 1200 interested and informed individuals from around the world – it’s free and designed to keep you informed, inspired, and engaged in this and related SEL work.


Comment below on what is the biggest issue you deal with in selecting or using frameworks in your practice?

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One Comment

  1. Great work and much needed also, for the advancement fo the field. Congrats for leading the way. Regards from Mallorca (Spain).

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