Where should we focus our SEL efforts?

Earlier today a colleague shared with me this SMART Brief pie chart that highlights what could be most effective in increasing SEL implementation. I thought it was interesting that three of the categories were very closely matched (improvement to pre-service teacher training and PD, more research and communication about the effects of SEL on student learning, and state level standards that spell out the SEL skills needed at every grade level). 

A few years ago I was introduced to the amazing work happening in at San Jose State to integrate SEL into teacher training. The Collaborative for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child developed Social Emotional Dimensions of Teaching and Learning as part of their teacher preparation work and I hope that several other teacher education programs follow in their footsteps. Wouldn't it be amazing if teachers started their careers already having deep knowledge of SEL?

In my previous blog post I shared about the work coming out of the National Commission which focuses on how SEL is interconnected to learning. Research also shows that SEL not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011).

Several states are working in partnership with CASEL to develop state-wide SEL standards. Here's a brief that discusses state efforts in promoting SEL

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