SummaryThis first of two surveys we conducted with Civic and Hart Research Associates found virtually all the 900 principals interviewed believe a stepped-up focus on SEL would positively impact school climate, build citizenship, improve relationships between students and teachers, and decrease bullying. Implementation varies widely, however.
Since principals play a key role in establishing the culture and conditions for SEL to thrive in their buildings, their views are critical. To what extent do they support SEL in their schools?
- A little more than one-third (35 percent) of principals report having a plan for teaching SEL and are systematically implementing it schoolwide. Those schools tend to be far more likely than others to have strong support for SEL from their district leadership.
- Across the board, principals say they want more training for teachers and greater access to research-based strategies for successfully developing SEL in students. Sixty percent of principals point to a lack of teacher training to support students’ social and emotional development as a big challenge.
- On assessment, 71 percent of principals agree that SEL skills can be measured and assessed, but only 38 percent of those using assessments of students’ social-emotional competence say they’re useful.