Social and Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning programs develop critical competencies in children. Emotionally competent children are happier and more productive. Schools offer a wonderful opportunity to provide social and emotional education. And schools themselves may benefit from doing so as Jonathan Cohen suggests (2000, p. 5):
In recent years, there has been growing concern that more and more children are distressed, disturbed, and not motivated to learn. We all know that psychological and, too often, physical violence complicate and often derail educators and children’s capacity to teach and to learn. . . On a typical school day, over 135,000 students bring weapons to school (Hamburg, 1992; Mott Foundation, 1994). Today, 25% of American 10 to 17 year old children suffer from school adjustment problems, problems that are predictive of later, more serious problems (Dryfoos, 1990). As students move into the adolescence (14 to 17 year olds), recent studies show that 35% of our children engage in high-risk behavior. Between 15 and 22% of our nations youth experience social, emotional and other problems that necessitate mental health treatment. And, approximately 80% of them are not receiving needed services (Dryfoos, 1997). These and related findings about the distressing state of children nationally and internationally have intensified our search for more effective ways by which that we can help our children develop into responsible, caring and healthy individuals.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning is a good source of information and support. For instance, you can find a collection of sample SEL activities and a quick introduction to SEL on their website. CASEL has put forth guidelines for SEL programs (Elias & Weissberg, 2000) that explain the best ways to implement programs at the classroom, school and district levels. They detail the skills that are the focus of SEL efforts.
CASEL’s Key Skills in Social and Emotional Learning
- Recognizing and naming one’s emotions.
- Understanding the reasons and circumstances for feeling as one does.
- Self-Regulation of Emotion
- Verbalizing and coping with anxiety, anger, and depression.
- Controlling impulses, aggression and self-destructive, anti-social behavior.
- Recognizing strengths in and mobilizing positive feelings about self, school, family and support networks.
- Self-Monitoring and Performance
- Focusing on tasks at hand.
- Setting short- and long-term goals.
- Modifying performance in light of feedback.
- Mobilizing positive motivation.
- Activating hope and optimism.
- Working toward optimal performance states, learning how to achieve flow.
- Empathy and Perspective Taking
- Becoming a good listener.
- Increasing empathy and sensitivity to others’ feelings.
- Understanding others’ perspectives, points of view and feelings.
- Social Skills in Handling Relationships
- Managing emotions in relationships, harmonizing diverse feelings & viewpoints.
- Expressing emotions effectively.
- Exercising assertiveness, leadership, and persuasion.
- Working as part of a team/cooperative learning groups.
- Showing sensitivity to social cues.
- Exercising social decision-making and problem-solving skills.
- Responding constructively to interpersonal conflict.
2008 Meta-Analysis of SEL Programs
Some of the most compelling information supporting SEL comes from findings of the largest, most scientifically rigorous review of research ever done on interventions that promote children’s social and emotional development. This review of more than 700 studies published through 2007 included school, family, and community interventions designed to promote social and emotional skills in children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18. This large sample of studies was divided into three main areas: studies about (a) school-based interventions, (b) after-school programs, and (c) programs for families.
Results of the school-based research, which included 207 studies of programs involving 288,000 students, is of key relevance here. In this meta-analysis (study of studies), researchers used statistical techniques to summarize the findings across all the studies and found a broad range of benefits for students:
- 9% decrease in conduct problems, such as classroom misbehavior and aggression
- 10% decrease in emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression
- 9% improvement in attitudes about self, others, and school
- 23% improvement in social and emotional skills
- 11% improvement in achievement test scores
Videos of Possible Interest
- Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world
- 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) in a 2nd Grade Brooklyn Classroom
- PAX Good Behaviour Game
- Conflict of Friends
- Emotional Intelligence: An Overview
- News Story about Cool School video game
- In a Responsive Classroom
- CNN Segment on Emotional Intelligence
- A More Accurate RULER – Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
- Smart Hearts: Social and Emotional Learning Overview
- How to Teach Math as a Social Activity
- Social and Emotional Learning After School
- Cyberbullying Toolkit for Educators
See MORE VIDEOS...
Sample Catalog Resources
Below you'll find a randomized listing of up to 20 related items (we may have more...) drawn from our Resource Catalog.
|Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning School Posters||The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) materials from the UK Primary National Strategies curriculum provide seven posters for use across the school. They are available for download as pdfs (see attachments in site sidebar). The topics include the following:Feelings detective â€“ understanding my feelings and understanding the feelings of others. These two posters support children when trying to recognise their own feelings and the feelings of others.AssertivenessThis poster uses the ideas covered in the theme sets and provides a reminder about how we might behave assertively rather than timidly, aggressively or manipulatively.Problem solvingThis poster outlines a problem-solving process that might be used in social or learning situations.Peaceful problem solvingThis poster provides a reminder of the SEAL approach to resolving conflicts within the school.Circle timeThis poster is an aid to those who use circle time and provides useful reminders for children to ensure the sessions are positive and productive.The FightThis is a copy of The Fight by L. S. Lowry. It is used as a stimulus for work in Say no to bullying|
|SACSC Toward a safe and caring secondary curriculum||Web site developed by the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada whose mission "is to encourage home, school and community practices that teach, model and reinforce socially responsible and respectful behaviors, so that living and learning can take place in a safe, caring and inclusive environment. Achieving this mission requires the involvement not only of parents, teachers, and children, but of all the important adults in children's lives." The "purpose of the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities Toward a Safe and Caring Curriculum Secondary Unit and Lesson Plans web-based resource is to provide units, lesson plans and other resources that integrate safe and caring knowledge, skills and attitudes into all subject areas in the Alberta secondary curriculum... this resource was developed by Alberta reachers in whose classrooms the accompanying lessons have been field tested." The lessons address 6 topics: Living Respectfully; Developing Self-Esteem; Respecting Diversity and Preventing Prejudice; Managing Anger; Dealing with Bullying; and Resolving Conflicts Peacefully for junior and senior high school students.|
|Getting to Know You - Classroom Activities for Starting Off the School Year from Morningside Center||As a new school year begins, teachers and students renew relationships after the long summer break, see new faces, and establish their routines for the year. The activities in this packet are designed to help you get the year off to a good start by engaging you and your students in getting to know each other, practicing listening skills, and discussing the values that will shape your classroom community. There are separate sets of activities for grades Pre-K to 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 to 12. They are adapted from exercises in the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program and the 4Rs Program (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) developed by the Morningside Center.|
|Developing and Assessing School Culture: A New Level of Accountability for Schools||This 8-page CEP position paper argues that education in our nation is at a defining moment, one with the potential to reshape our national conversation about school improvement. Successful schools--ones that foster both academic excellence and ethics--have positive school cultures (or "climates"). CEP defines a positive school culture broadly to include all aspects of school life, including a safe and caring environment, a powerful pedagogy and curriculum, student motivation and engagement, professional faculty culture and relational trust, parent partnerships, and community collaboration. The paper presents case studies and educational research showing the impact of school culture on students' academic achievement and social behavior. Because a positive school culture is central to student success, the authors argue we must address how to help all schools develop effective cultures. Since what gets measured matters, schools must also be held accountable for having positive school cultures and must have tools for assessing their culture. If we are to prepare students to be lifelong learners and 21st century ethical citizens, we must develop a new "school report card" that includes not only test scores but also concrete indicators of the quality of school culture.|
|Spatial invasion||Word document with role play to emphasize personal space and boundaries.|
|Photocards of Feelings||Photocards of feelings developed for grades 7 and 8 in the U.K. These cards provide a stimulus for children to explore and develop their feelings vocabulary. Includes feelings key and sample discussion questions.|
|It's about Relationships: Creating Positive School Climates||When teachers wonder "What should I do?" in response to challenging student behaviors, the answers are not as simple as they might seem. What teachers can do also depends, at least in part, on external demands (e.g., discipline codes, principal expectations, time pressures on teaching content and testing) that can either facilitate or thwart positive resolutions of conflicts. The most effective teachers in working with challenging students had very positive relationships with them. For years, many school districts have provided training or support around positive discipline but with little evidence of improving the culture of punishment that pervades many New York City schools. This author found that most educators were not directly trained in the strategies their schools were trying to implement. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a tiered framework of positive behavior systems in a school. Success depends on having clear expectations that are taught, rehearsed, and reinforced consistently across settings. In spring 2012, The Atlantic Philanthropies awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to the consortium that helped cover start-up costs, technology, and professional development. With this grant, the consortium has sought to support schools regarding student behavior. This was the beginning of what would become the Positive Learning Collaborative (PLC), an initiative jointly run by the United Federation of Teachers and the New York City Department of Education to help educators create positive school environments. The Positive Learning Collaborative (PLC) is a holistic approach that focuses on teaching reflective and restorative practices and was implemented in the New York City school system. To that end, educators are coached to be mindful of their own internal dialogue and to teach students coping skills to deal with feelings such as anger and frustration.|
|Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth-Serving Orgs||A manual in pdf format providing an overview of various models for conflict resolution education program implementation. The first chapter defines conflict as a natural condition and examines the origins of conflict, responses to conflict, and the outcomes of those responses. It introduces four approaches to implementing conflict resolution education. Each of the next four chapters discusses one of these approaches and presents examples of programs that use the approach. One chapter describes an approach to conflict resolution education characterized by devoting a specific time to teaching the foundation abilities, principles, and one or more of the problemsolving processes in a separate course or distinct curriculum. Another chapter describes an approach in which selected, trained individuals provide neutral third-party facilitation in conflict resolution. A chapter presents an approach that incorporates conflict resolution education into the core subject areas of the curriculum and into classroom management strategies, and another chapter presents a comprehensive whole-school methodology that builds on the previous approach. The next two chapters address conflict resolution education in settings other than traditional schools. The final three chapters address more overarching topics: conflict resolution research and evaluation; a developmental sequence of behavioral expectations in conflict resolution; and the process of developing, implementing, and sustaining a conflict resolution program.|
|Verbal active listening skills||Document which outlines the five verbal listening skills (Acknowledging, paraphrasing, reflecting, questioning and crediting), the rest of the document examines non-verbal listening skills.|
|GIRC Annotated Bibliography of Conflict Resolution Resources||An annotated bibliography from the Global Issues Resource Center on conflict resolution resources covering the topics of bullying prevention, classroom management, and trauma & violence prevention. Includes books, curricula, videotapes, simulations and games.|
|Positions and interests||Pdf document that describes an exercise in negotiation and problem solving to be used with children in grades 5-8, with a worksheet at end of document.|
|Peaceful problem solving posters||These two posters, designed for primary age students in the U.K., support children in using a structured problem solving process, both individually and when in conflict with another student.|
|Five Critical Steps for Reducing Peer Aggression: Early Childhood Practitioner Training Program||STEPS for Early Childhood Practitioners is a comprehensive training program using The Ophelia Project's Five Critical Steps framework. Through this training, Early Childhood practitioners learn to observe aggression in the classroom and develop skills to carefully and consciously change the social climate of preschools and childcare centers. The training modules empower practitioners to integrate using positive language and pro-social norms as part of their everyday interactions with children and also shows how to create lesson plans to promote empathy, conflict resolution, respect, civility, and manners.|
|Children at risk, violence in our home||Two diagrams, one outlining the ways in which children may be at risk, such as physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the second diagram shows ways in which at risk children have problems in school, such as acting out, falling asleep, and no respect for authority.|
|Conflict resolution education: models, relationships to other fields||Powerpoint presentation examining conflict resolution education and its relationship to fields such as peace studies, law related education and social and emotional learning.|
|Confidentiality||Pdf document which discusses the concept of confidentiality in social and emotional learning environments. Written above title on document: NCIP (National Curriculum Integration Project).|
|Summary - The Positive impact of social & emotional learning kindergarten to eighth grade students||12-page PDF report which, "summarizes results from three large-scale reviews of research on the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on elementary and middle-school students â€” that is, programs that seek to promote various aocial and emotional skills. Collectively the three reviews included 317 studies and involved 324,303 children. SEL programs yielded multiple benefits in each review and were effective in both school and after-school settings and for students with and without behavioral and emotional problems. They were also effective across the K-8 grade range and for racially and ethnically diverse students from urban, rural, and suburban settings. SEL programs improved studentsâ€™ social-emotional skills, attitudes about self and others, connection to school, positive social behavior, and academic performance; they also reduced studentsâ€™ conduct problems and emotional distress. Comparing results from these reviews to findings obtained in reviews of interventions by other research teams suggests that SEL programs are among the most successful youth-development programs offered to school-age youth. Furthermore, school staff (e.g., teachers, student support staff) carried out SEL programs effectively, indicating that they can be incorporated into routine educational practice. In addition, SEL programming improved studentsâ€™ academic performance by 11 to 17 percentile points across the three reviews, indicating that they offer students a practical educational benefit. Given these positive findings, we recommend that federal, state, and local policies and practices encourage the broad implementation of well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs during and after school."|
|Role play : The power of dialogue fact sheet||Pdf document that presents a role play dialogue between the parent of a middle school child, a middle school teacher and a principle, with background information on characters and a case overview.|
|Needham experience: a district's commitment to social and emotional learning||Powerpoint presentation of the Needham School District's experience with a comprehensive social and emotional learning program.|
|Circle Time Poster||This poster, designed for use with primary age students in the U.K., is an aid to those who use circle time and provides useful reminders for children to ensure the sessions are positive and productive.|