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Fundamentals of SEL

SEL can help all young people and adults thrive personally and academically, develop and maintain positive relationships, become lifelong learners, and contribute to a more caring, just world.

We define social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. 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.

    • Think of a young person in your life. What skills will they need to achieve their hopes and dreams? 

      Chances are, you just named social and emotional skills – like staying motivated, communicating effectively, practicing curiosity, and working with others to solve problems. Social and emotional learning, or SEL, helps develop the skills we need for life.

      Hear why students, parents, and educators want SEL in schools.

      Here are 3 things to know about social and emotional learning:

      1. Social and emotional learning is a foundation for many of our most pressing priorities: SEL helps young people – and adults – learn and practice skills that set them up for academic success, fulfilling careers, healthy relationships, and responsible civic engagement.
      2. The research is clear: Social and emotional learning in schools leads to positive outcomes, including better academic performance, and decreases in stress and anxiety.
      3. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach: Social and emotional learning brings families, schools, and communities together to make sure every child has caring relationships and what they need to learn, grow, and thrive.

      Subscribe now for our expertly curated 3-part email series delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll roundup the key facts from our website on what SEL is, why it matters, and how it shows up in schools.

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SEL in 60 minutes (Course)

Social and emotional learning is essential to helping us all lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Take our free online course to learn more about how to develop these critical skills.

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What Does the Research Say?

SEL makes a difference. We know this from the research, which demonstrates that an education that promotes SEL has a positive impact on a wide range of outcomes, including academic performance, healthy relationships, mental wellness, and more.

The Impact of Social and Emotional Learning

What is the CASEL SEL framework?

For many, our framework is known as the “CASEL wheel.” At the center are the five core social and emotional competencies—broad, interrelated areas that support learning and development. Circling them are four key settings where students live and grow. School-family-community partnerships coordinate SEL practices and establish equitable learning environments across all of these contexts.

Explore The CASEL Framework
Casel wheel with rings labeled by Casels core values
How Does SEL Support Equity?

We are driven by a vision of all children and adults as self-aware, caring, responsible, engaged, and lifelong learners who work together to achieve their goals. SEL can be a powerful lever for creating caring, just, inclusive, and healthy schools that support all young people.

How Can You Champion SEL?

The majority of students, teachers, and families agree: SEL belongs in schools. But when it is co-opted by political agendas, students risk losing out on an education that will help them succeed in school and in life. Now is the time for brave thinkers and tireless doers to champion SEL.

How does SEL connect to…

The COVID-19 Pandemic

SEL offers a powerful means to support one another during these challenging times by developing crucial competencies relating to empathy, resilience, and relationship-building that students and adults need.

Read more about COVID-19
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