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 serve as a foundation for thinking about, communicating, and guiding  SEL implementation, assessment, and improvement efforts.


In the first brief in the new series, Guide to Reviewing and Rating SEL Frameworks: An Introduction to the Descriptive Series, we discuss and illustrate specific ways to use the Ten Criteria for Describing and Selecting SEL Frameworks to address three critical issues:

  • How to define and prioritize what you most need from a framework in your context and end up with a clear priority profile
  • How to review and rate any frameworks you are considering in consistent and helpful ways
  • How to compare frameworks with your priority profile as well as to each other

These 10 criteria are meant to guide thinking about what characteristics of an SEL framework are most important to one’s specific work or context and help people prioritize what they want and need from a SEL framework. By using the same criteria and following the processes outlined, practitioners can determine whether a framework is strong in the areas of their highest priorities and a potentially good fit for their efforts. This brief illustrates these processes using two hypothetical districts in search of an SEL framework for their efforts.


To further illustrate the process, the new series applies these criteria to nine frequently-used SEL frameworks. Each specific framework brief includes summaries in key areas, helpful links and references, as well as ratings and information related to each of the 10 criteria. The nine frameworks were chosen because they were ones you told us were in use in practice and because they provide a diverse set of examples.  Their selection and inclusion in the series is not an endorsement of these frameworks. Rather, the briefs are intended to illustrate what we believe is a useful review and ratings process for practitioners and to illustrate how different frameworks have different relative strengths as well as areas for additional development and support.


We hope this series will be useful in your work and help school, district, state and youth program teams as they seek to select, create, or align frameworks that guide the implementation and continuous improvement of their preschool to high school SEL programming and practice.


You can find all ten new briefs, as well as previous briefs here on the Measuring SEL website. Please let us know whether and how these briefs and any others in our series are useful in your work as well as what else would be helpful.  You can provide feedback on the framework series HERE.

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