In 2016, the Aspen Institute formed a National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (AspenSEAD) to explore how Social-Emotional Learning can be better integrated with the rigor of academic learning.

The commission formed after the institute collected evidence pointing to the positive impact social-emotional practices have in everyday learning. On top of this evidence, they saw more and more employers hiring for “occupations that require the mastery of social and emotional skills.” AspenSEAD’s research involves the voices of all education stakeholders, including the creation of a Youth Commission “contributing firsthand experience and real-time insights to how schools can support students’ holistic growth.” Learner voices will only accelerate AspenSEAD’s mission to “develop a roadmap that will point the way toward a future where every child receives the comprehensive support needed to succeed in school, in our evolving 21st-century workplace, and in life.”

Sign up for Voyager


Voyager is the publication for all things learner-centered. This free digital magazine is a great way to stay up-to-date on this growing field, discover learner-centered work, engage practitioners on the ground making it happen, and join the conversation.