Climate and Social and Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a similarly important avenue for improving the school environment and nurturing positive relationships between and among students and staff. SEL is a process through which we learn to recognize and manage emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors. It is the process through which students enhance their ability to integrate thinking, feeling, and behaving in order to achieve important life tasks.

Within the school setting, SEL can best be accomplished through a layered approach of skills lessons, infusion into the curricula and classroom practices, and an environment of safety, respect, and caring which models SEL values.

Why Invest Time in Social-Emotional Learning?

(from ASD SEL Standards and Benchmarks)

• Social and emotional awareness enhances the potential for individual and social growth and learning. An absence of social and emotional awareness stunts that potential.

• SEL builds success in academics and productive relationships with others, now and in the future.

• The social and emotional aspects of each individual are the driving forces in one’s ability to learn.

• SEL is at the core of human existence and is a compassionate way to build community.

SEL News

Pribilofs High School class shows positive climate

Social and Emotional Learning in Alaska

A briefing paper giving a landscape view of SEL in Alaska, prepared by CASEL, the Anchorage School District, and AASB.

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning

The first large-scale meta-analysis of school-based social and emotional learning programs has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Child Development. The research, a synthesis of 213 studies of SEL programs involving more than 270,000 students in grades K-12, reveals that students who participated in school-based SEL programs improved in grades and standardized test scores by 11 percentile points compared to control groups.

Social and Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention (pdf)
While bullying is a pervasive problem in many schools, schools can take specific steps to improve the school climate and encourage positive interactions designed to reduce or prevent bullying. View the research brief from CASEL.

A parent primer on Social Emotional Learning
When a school puts special emphasis on social and emotional learning (SEL), as schools in Jefferson County have done, it can dramatically change a child’s experience of education. Students strive, in a program like Jefferson County’s CARE for Kids, to become successful thinkers, but they also learn to manage their emotions, resolve conflicts, and communicate and collaborate effectively with others.

Bipartisan Legislation Makes Social and Emotional Learning a National Education Priority
The Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act (H.R. 4223) was introduced at the 2009 CASEL Forum. This legislation authorizes the US Department of Education to establish and support evidence-based programs and allocate funds to establish a national SEL technical assistance center.

“This is a pivotal moment,” said Jennifer Buffett, President of the NoVo Foundation. “As a society, we can’t just keep hoping for better academic performance from children without addressing the issues that keep them from focusing. SEL works because it emphasizes a context where children know they are seen, heard, and valued.”

SEL for Families
SEL parenting articles, tools, books and booklets serving as resources for families from CASEL.

more SEL news and Research articles

Social-Emotional Learning Resources

Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
CASEL works to advance the science and evidence-based practice of social and emotional learning (SEL).

• CASEL Research: Social and Emotional Learning Impacts (Meta-analysis, SEL and Academics,
SEL and Prevention)

AASB/Alaska ICE partnered with the Anchorage School District to develop and print Strategy for Student Success: How Social and Emotional Learning Helps Kids Achieve. The publication describes what SEL is, why its important to academic success, what the research shows, and how parents can build SEL skills at home and with their child’s school.

National School Climate Center (NSCC) (formerly the Center for Social and Emotional Education, CSEE)
The goal at NSCC is to promote positive and sustained school climate: a safe, supportive environment that nurtures social and emotional, ethical, and academic skills.


Edutopia (The George Lucas Educational Foundation)
The George Lucas Educational Foundation is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process by using digital media to document, disseminate, and advocate for innovative, replicable strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.


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