How do you know your SEL work is making a difference? What impact are you having?
Assessment is a hot topic in the SEL field and it's fair to say it's an area growth. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has convened a national work group to advance progress on SEL assessments. Several teachers and leaders I've spoken with have stressed the importance of having a high quality performance task assessment to measure SEL.
In Social-Emotional Assessment, Performance, and Standards (The Future of Children, 2017) Clark McKown, an associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center states, "The next generation of SEL assessments should follow six principles, he concludes. First, assessments should meet the highest ethical and scientific standards. Second, developers should design SEL assessment systems specifically for educational use. Third, assessments should measure dimensions of SEL that span the three categories of thinking, behavioral, and selfcontrol skills. Fourth, assessment methods should be matched to what’s being measured. Fifth, assessments should be developmentally appropriate—in other words, children of different ages will need different sorts of assessments. Last, to discourage inappropriate uses, developers should clearly specify the intended purpose of any SEL assessment system, beginning from the design stage."
American Institutes for Research has put together a great resource to guide those engaged in SEL through resources out there that support assessment. You can access the toolkit they've created, "Are you ready to assess SEL?" here.