The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning

In 2011, researchers at CASEL and the University of Chicago published a meta-analysis on the impact social and emotional learning strategies were having on young learners across the country.

The sample included over 270,000 learners in the K-12 system and over 200 local education systems. Although the study looked at traditional academic metrics like test scores to determine the success of SEL strategies, it was a small slice of the success equation. Researchers also reviewed the impact on social and emotional skills, attitudes toward self and others, positive social behaviors, conduct problems, and emotional distress—all of which showed positive improvement compared to control groups.

The simple takeaway from their research is “the findings add to the growing empirical evidence regarding the positive impact of SEL programs” and “that classroom teachers and other school staff effectively conducted SEL programs. This result suggests that these interventions can be incorporated into routine educational practices and do not require outside personnel for their effective delivery.”

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