This issue brief, created by The Pennsylvania State University with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is one of a series of briefs that address the need for research, practice, and policy on social and emotional learning (SEL). It focuses on basic principles and strategies for effective implementation of SEL in elementary schools.
Dusenbury, L., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Social Emotional Learning in Elementary School: Preparation for Success. Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.
This report on CASEL's Collaborating Districts Initiative presents key insights from this multiyear effort in 10 large school districts to help integrate social and emotional learning across all aspects of their work.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2017). Key Insights from the Collaborating Districts Initiative. Chicago: Author.
Advancing the Science and Practice of Social and Emotional Learning: Looking Back and Moving Forward (2016)
This chapter from the Review of Research in Education summarizes the results of nearly 100 years of research on school-based social and emotional learning (SEL). The chapter begins with a historical summary of theoretical movements and research trends that have led to today’s inclusion of SEL as part of many schools’ curricula, policies, and practices. The chapter identifies design elements and implementation quality characteristics of effective approaches to SEL and provides recommendations for future practice, policy, and research.
Osher, D., Kidron, Y., Brackett, M., Dymnicki, A., Jones, S., & Weissberg, R. P. (2016) Advancing the science and practice of social and emotional learning: Looking back and moving forward. Review of Research in Education: Education Research—A Century of Discovery, 40(1).
This report reviews the available evidence on the economic value of social and emotional learning (SEL). The most important empirical finding is that each of the six interventions under consideration for improving SEL shows measurable benefits that exceed its costs, often by considerable amounts. The aggregate result also shows an average benefit-cost ratio of about 11 to 1 among the six interventions.
Belfield, C., Bowden, B., Klapp, A., Levin, H., Shand, R., & Zander, S. (2015). The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. New York: Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education.
Many studies have demonstrated that “non-cognitive” competencies in children are important predictors of outcomes in their lives as adults. In several cases, the data show that non-cognitive skills matter as much as or even more than cognitive or academic skills in predicting positive life outcomes. This working paper maps findings from a number of pivotal studies conducted by leading psychologists, physicians, economists, and education researchers onto a framework organized around nine key topics within the domains of academics, career, and well-being.
Gabrieli, C., Ansel, D., & Krachman, S. B. (2015). Ready to Be Counted: The Research Case for Education Policy Action on Non-Cognitive Skills. Boston: Transforming Education.
PBS News Hour: Kindergartners with Good Social Skills Turn into Successful Adults, Study Finds (2015)
This news segment reports on the work of Damon Jones and his colleagues at Penn State University that documented the importance of social and emotional skill development to young people’s success in school and future well-being. 6 minutes.
PBS New Hour. (2015). Published July 16, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/kindergarteners-good-social-skills-turn-successful-adults-study-finds/.
This comprehensive and definitive handbook covers all aspects of research, practice, and policy related to social and emotional learning. The editors and contributors describe state-of-the-art intervention and prevention programs designed to build students' skills for managing emotions, showing concern for others, making responsible decisions, and forming positive relationships. The Handbook explores the conceptual and scientific underpinnings of SEL and its relationship to children's and adolescents' academic success, mental health, and overall well-being, including the roles of school- and district-level leadership, teacher training, and school-family partnerships.
Durlak, J. A., Domitrovich, C. E., Weissberg, R. P., & Gullotta, T. P. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice. New York: Guilford Press.
Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth (2014)
This brief summarizes three case studies, a cross-case report, a research brief, and a technical report about the experience of high schools in Boston, New York City, and San Antonio. Among the key findings: (1) schools focused on social and emotional learning (SEL) provide students with key psychological resources they need to thrive in school; (2) leveraging a whole-school approach to SEL supports students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.
Hamedani, M. G. & Darling-Hammond, L. (2014). Social Emotional Learning in High School: How Three Urban High Schools Engage, Educate, and Empower Youth. Palo Alto: Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE).
Effectiveness of School-Based Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Programs: Do They Enhance Students’ Development in The Area of Skill, Behavior, and Adjustment? (2012)
To answer the question of whether teaching social and emotional skills can help schools extend their role beyond the transfer of knowledge, the authors conducted a meta-analytical review of 75 recently published studies that reported the effects of universal, school-based social, emotional, and/or behavioral (SEB) programs. The interventions had a variety of intended outcomes, but an increase in social skills and decreases in antisocial behavior were most often reported. The final sections of the article discuss limitations of the analysis and moderators of the effectiveness of SEB programs in schools.
Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., Ritter, M. D., Ben, J. & Gravesteijn, C. (2012), Effectiveness of school-based universal social, emotional, and behavioral programs: Do they enhance students’ development in the area of skill, behavior, and adjustment? Psychology in the Schools, 49(9), 892–909.
Tags: Impact and Evidence
The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions (2011)
This review of 213 studies of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs has become one of the most important and frequently cited documents in the SEL field.
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011), The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82: 405–432.