Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning
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Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning

Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of Social and Emotional Learning. Students educated in environments that promote growth SEL skill growth show improved academic progress and improved college and career readiness

Social and emotional learning contributes to improved educational outcomes and student well-being by:

  • Helping students know, understand and manage their emotions
  • Understand the perspectives of others and how to relate effectively to them
  • Make responsible choices and understand the consequences

Social and Emotional Learning helps students better manage their relationships with adults and peers, reduces problems with conduct in the classroom and risk-taking behavior, and has a tangible positive benefit on students' emotional well-being, including a reduction in violent behavior and substance abuse

Instructional Time

Researchers estimate that on average, eight minutes of instructional time are lost to behavior issues each class. That adds up to approximately one month of lost learning each year. Robust SEL programs are shown to minimize behavior issues and “buy back” instruction.

College Ready

In addition to increased instructional time, strong SEL programs are shown to be associated with increased school attendance and fewer dropouts. Notably, from a policy perspective, SEL programs are associated with significant academic performance improvements. SEL programs demonstrate comparable or higher academic outcomes than other universal interventions. More specifically a meta-analysis of 213 studies involving more than 270,000 students found that students who received universal SEL programming on average ranked 11 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests than students who did not receive programming.

Career Ready

According to the US Department of Labor, employers are seeking those with the following SEL skills: problem-solving, self-esteem, self-motivation, goal setting and listening and communication. Further, 12 of the 16 skills identified by the world economic forum as crucial for the 21st-century workplace are categorized as social and emotional skills. SEL prepares students to enter the workforce, essentially increasing employability. Each of the skills identified above are encompassed by the five core skills outlined in the CASEL framework. This means that students who attend schools with comprehensive SEL programs receive direct instruction in these areas and have the opportunity to practice these skills both in and outside of the classroom.

Life Ready

SEL results in a variety of improved life outcomes. Most studies conclude that students who participate in strong SEL programs exhibit improved behaviors. Several studies note much deeper health impacts than improved in-school behavior such as improved physical health, reduction of violence and reduction of substance abuse. This shows that SEL as both a universal and tiered support can be used to improve students overall quality of life, not just their time in school.