Collaborators’ Research

By engaging with partners and lifting up the work of others, CASEL strives to create a more well-rounded, coherent, and comprehensive approach to education, and one that will lead to a more equitable, just, and productive society. 

CASEL regularly draws from the work of national leaders through a Research Advisory Group, engages leading organizations in collaborative research initiatives, and recognizes outstanding scholarship in the field through the annual Zins Award.  

Collaborative Research and Scholarship Efforts

Creating Equitable Learning Environments

CASEL is a partner on two collaborative initiatives to advance equity and excellence in education:

  • The Building Equitable Learning Environments (BELE) Framework is a guide for transforming student experiences and learning outcomes. We can only be healthy and strong as a nation when every educational institution is a place where all children can learn, develop and thrive. The evidence and research are abundantly clear. Educators, system leaders, and communities committed to transforming education systems can use this guide to increase student engagement and agency, support adult development and practice, and ensure schools reliably produce equitable student experiences and outcomes. Learn more.
  • The Equitable Learning and Development Group conducts and translates academic research for an educator audience. They leverage social connectivity to contribute to the broad national movement to transform public schools. The group is comprised of educational leaders, principals, teachers, and students to identify how best to transform schools into joyous, intellectually challenging, and equitable learning environments for young people. Learn more.

SEL and Assessment Related Projects

CASEL joined CORE Districts, Transforming Education, xSEL Labs, the Harvard Taxonomy Project, the RAND Corporation, and nearly 20 other leading researchers and practitioners to make critical advancements in social and emotional competence assessment that can directly impact school districts and young people.

  • The SEL Assessment Guide provides several resources for leaders and implementation teams in PreK-12th grade settings who are making decisions about selecting and using measures of student SEL. This includes guidance on how to select an assessment and use student SEL competency data, a catalog from which to select assessments, equipped with filters and bookmarking, and real-world accounts of how practitioners are using these data. Access the Guide.
  • The RAND Assessment Finder lists more than 200 assessments of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and higher–order cognitive competencies, including associated descriptive and evaluative information. The Assessment Finder enables practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to explore what assessments are available and obtain key information about what they are designed to measure, how they operate, what demands they place on students and teachers, and what kinds of uses their scores support. Access the resource.
  • Explore SEL was developed by the Taxonomy Project as a navigator for the field of social and emotional learning. It provides information and tools that summarize and connect the major frameworks and skills in the field to support transparency and informed decision-making. Access the website.

SEL Highlights from Collaborator Research Publications

For a repository of research resources by topic, check out the CASEL Resource Library.

Student Social and Emotional Competence Assessment: The Current State of the Field and a Vision for Its Future

Clark McKown, Rush University Medical Center and xSEL Labs

This report describes the state of the field of student social and emotional competence assessment and envisions the conditions in which the field can continue to develop in ways that tangibly benefit teaching and learning. It was created in partnership with the Social and Emotional Learning Assessment Work Group. (October 2019)


The Brain Basis for Integrated Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Linda Darling-Hammond with the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

This research brief from the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development explores how emotions and relationships drive learning and are a fundamental part of how our brains develop. It draws from the research base to suggest basic principles for educational policymakers and practitioners. (September 2018)


A Framework for Developing Young Adult Success in the 21st Century

Jenny Nagaoka, Camille A. Farrington, and Stacy B. Ehrlich
with David W. Johnson, Sarah Dickson, Ryan Heath, and Ashley Mayo

The white paper presents a framework that seeks to identify the broad range of factors critical for young adult success and to consolidate current
understanding of how these factors can be fostered in schools, communities, and homes from early childhood to young adulthood. (February 2014)


The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning

Clive Belfield, Brooks Bowden, Alli Klapp, Henry Levin, Robert Shand, and Sabine Zander

This report reveals, on average, that every dollar invested in SEL programming yields $11 in long-term benefits. These benefits include reduced juvenile crime, higher lifetime earnings, and better mental and physical health. (February 2015)


The Other Side of the Report Card

Maurice Elias, Joseph Ferrito, and Dominic Morceri

Grounded in research and the authors’ work with teachers and administrators, this book from Corwin Press offers guidance on retooling report cards to better reflect the whole child, integrating SEL and character development into any school or districtwide grading system. (2016)


To Reach the Students, Teach the Teachers: A National Scan of Teacher Preparation and SEL

A collaboration of the University of British Columbia and CASEL

This groundbreaking study found that although most states require some aspect of SEL for certification, the reality of teacher preparation to meet the requirements falls short. (February 2017)