This Month in SEL [November 2019]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights.

This month in SEL: an interactive resource for exploring SEL frameworks, resources for supporting adult SEL are on the rise, a new book on raising emotionally intelligent children, how teachers are responding to rapid increases in students' stress levels, and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.


New Interactive Resources from the EASEL Lab at Harvard 

Earlier this month, Professor Stephanie Jones and her team at the EASEL Lab (housed within the Harvard Graduate School of Education) released Explore SEL, an interactive hub that allows users to better explore and understand various social and emotional learning frameworks.

Read More >


Panorama Education Releases Toolkit for Adult SEL

Promoting the development of students' social-emotional skills starts with adults. Just as research points to the importance of integrationg social and emotional learning into academics, studies have found that teachers who work on their own SEL skills can improve their own well-being while also improving the social, emotional, and academic outcomes of their students. Adults are constantly asking for more support in both understanding social-emotional learning as well as honing their own SEL skills. This toolkit brings together a research-backed Adult SEL Readiness assessment, activities to help adults practice modeling SEL, and a SEL Exploration worksheet.

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How Teachers Are Tackling Rising Stress in Teens

Seventy percent of teens say stress is a major problem. Research backs that up—and teachers are beginning to offer solutions.

According to a 2019 Pew Research Poll, 70 percent of surveyed teens agree that stress is a major problem. Emergency room visits for self-inflicted, nonfatal injuries among children and young adults increased by 5.7 percent from 2008 to 2015, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 2007 and 2017, more teens were seriously considering suicide or hurting themselves in suicide attempts than in past decades.

This Edutopia piece takes an in-depth look at the causes of rising stress in teenage students, explores the cultural and social dynamics at play, and spotlights some solutions that educators are implementing. 

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CASEL Publishes New "SEL Trends Brief" on Adult SEL

Many districts participating in CASEL's Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) have made strengthening adult SEL a top priorities. This "SEL Trends Brief" showcases adult SEL strategies being piloted in Oakland, Sacramento City, and Tulsa.

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New Book on Raising Emotional Intelligence in Children and Parents

In an exclusive excerpt from her new book — “Confident Parents, Confident Kids” — author Jennifer Miller shares a poignant example of how parents can nurture and coach their children when faced with various social and emotional obstacles.

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This Month in SEL [October 2019]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights.

This month in SEL: CASEL hosts the inaugural SEL Exchange conference, a new RAND report explores teachers’ opinions on the importance of social and emotional learning, CASEL publishes findings from a nationwide survey of 700+ principals about their views on SEL, TransformEd releases a three-part series on fostering strong relationships in schools… and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.


CASEL Hosts Inaugural SEL Exchange Conference in Chicago

On October 2-4, more than 1,500 educators, researchers, policymakers, advocates, philanthropists, and national and global leaders gathered for the inaugural Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Exchange, hosted by CASEL in Chicago. CASEL brought together this wide range of SEL stakeholders to share cutting-edge research, innovative insights, and best practices to support their overarching goal: all students benefit from high-quality, effective, systemic SEL implementation. Sessions throughout the conference covered topics such as:

  • The importance of youth voice

  • Equity and diversity in SEL

  • Adult SEL as a key foundational element to SEL implementation in schools

  • The benefits of including community partners and families in SEL work

  • SEL and the future of work

Watch the Day 1 Recap Video >

Watch the Day 2 Recap Video >


Teacher Perspectives on Social and Emotional Learning in Massachusetts

This RAND report presents American Teacher Panel survey results on teachers’ perspectives about social and emotional learning. It analyzes results from teachers in Massachusetts and how they compare to their peers in the rest of the nation on three topics: (1) teachers’ opinions about SEL, (2) their approaches to promoting students’ social and emotional development, (3) and their perceptions of supports that would help them do this more effectively.

One key finding: large majorities of teachers in both Massachusetts and the rest of the nation recognize the importance of SEL and believe that SEL can affect other domains of student development and achievement.

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New Research: Principals’ Perspectives on SEL

A new survey of 700+ principals across the nation explored how these influential school leaders view social and emotional learning. Adminstered by CASEL, the key findings of this report indicate that:

  • Principals have made progress in implementing SEL. The majority now have a long-term plan (up 12 percentage points from 2017), an SEL vision (up 10 percentage points), and are using an evidence-based SEL program (up 13 percentage points).

  • Suburban and urban schools have made a great deal of progress implementing SEL, but small town and rural schools lag significantly behind the rest of the country.

  • Nearly seven in ten principals believe SEL skills should be assessed, up from 58 percent in 2017.

  • The percentage of principals who believe social and emotional skills should be included in state education standards and guidance has nearly doubled (from 25% to 49%).

Read More >


Transforming Education Publishes Three-Part Series on Fostering Strong Relationships in Schools

Throughout the month of October, Transforming Education released a series of briefs that highlight students’ and educators’ perspectives about developing and sustaining strong relationships in school. These perspectives were collected during a series of visits they conducted to school campuses across the country in which students reported strong social-emotional skills and favorable perceptions of their school environments. Each brief summarizes the latest research on building strong relatoinships in schools and provides additional resources that teachers and leaders can use to foster strong relationships in schools.

Read More >


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This Month in SEL [September 2019]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights.

ThisMonthinSEL

This month in SEL: CASEL publishes a new report on the state of SEL assessments, a new book — with SEL at its core — is published by the director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, the Rennie Center and Transforming Education team-up to support a community convening to advance young people’s social, emotional, and cognitive development… and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.


New CASEL Report on The State of SEL Competence Assessments

What are the trends in assessing social and emotional learning and what is the field’s vision for the future? Developed by a group of scholars, test developers, and educators focused on supporting high-quality SEL competence assessment, this report describes the accelerating growth and demand for SEL assessments and envisions the conditions for continued progress. It also offers a vision of assessment that is integrated with efforts to shape policy, link assessment to practice, continue developing high-quality assessments, and systematize professional learning.

Read the Full Report >

Read the Executive Summary >


Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Publishes New Book: “Permission to Feel”

Marc Brackett is a professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In his 25 years as an emotion scientist, he has developed a remarkably effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults – a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. This book combines rigor, science, passion and inspiration in equal parts. Too many children and adults are suffering; they are ashamed of their feelings and emotionally unskilled, but they don’t have to be. Marc Brackett’s life mission is to reverse this course, and this book can show you how.

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How Districts Are Overcoming Common Challenges

This brief from CASEL discusses how districts are “making the shift to a systemic approach to SEL” and includes recommendations for addressing common obstacles that prevent systemic social-emotional learning from being implemented in schools. These challenges include intiative fatigue, strengthening adult SEL, and establishing a common understanding of how SEL serves all students.

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The Rennie Center & Transforming Education Win $30K Grant from America’s Promise Alliance

The Rennie Center and Transforming Education have won a $30,000 grant from America’s Promise Alliance, a national organization, to support a community convening to advance young people’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. The two organizations have partnered with the Boston Public Schools to align the district’s social and emotional learning (SEL) work with its Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP) Framework. They will focus on convening students and families to bring their voices into the conversation and drive these efforts forward.

“Bringing together students, families, and community members is critical to Boston Public Schools’ ongoing work to support the needs of every student. We need guidance from the community on how schools can support students’ social, emotional, and cognitive needs in ways that embrace the diverse cultures and experiences of Boston families.”

— Chad d’Entremont, Executive Director of the Rennie Center.

Read More >


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This Month in SEL [August 2019]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights.

This month in SEL: a new nationwide study explores the impact of growth mindset, FutureEd and Attendance Works partner to explore whole child strategies for improving student attendance, legislation passes to allow for excusable ‘mental health days’, and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.


New Study Explores Whether Mindset Trainings Can Improve Student Performance

The study, published in the journal Nature, represents the largest and most rigorous test to date of whether mindset trainings can improve student performance. In conducting this research, an online training (focused on mindset concepts) was administered to 12,500 students form 65 schools — a mix of public and private. The findings indicate that teaching ninth graders to maintain a “growth mindset” toward learning can result in higher test scores.

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FutureEd and Attendance Works Publish Playbook on Improving Student Attendance

Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism is a collection of nearly two dozen evidence-based strategies for improving student attendance, especially among the 16 percent of the nation’s students who are chronically absent. Released by Georgetown University’s FutureEd and the national nonprofit Attendance Works, the playbook explains each intervention, summarizes supporting research, and highlights schools or school districts that have used the strategy successfully. Many of the strategies focus on improving student engagement and school climate, linking the drive to reduce absenteeism to broader efforts to strengthen students’ social-emotional development.

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States Start to Provide Legal Backing for Students to Take ‘Mental Health Days’

Legislation passed earlier this summer will allow students in Oregon and Utah to take excusable “mental health days.” The data shows that a sizable number of U.S. students could benefit if other states pass similar laws. A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly a third of all high school students had experienced significant periods of sadness and hopelessness within the previous year, and 17 percent had contemplated suicide—both percentages represented a significant increase in the last decade.

“The first step to confront this crisis is to reduce the stigma around it. We need to say it’s just as OK to take care for mental health reasons as it is to care for a broken bone or physical illness.”

— Debbie Plotnick, VP at Mental Health America

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The Positive Impact of Playtime, Downtime and Family Time

According to Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, these three factors — playtime, downtime and family time — protect children against a host of negative outcomes, strengthen resilience, and bolster students’ mental wellness and academic engagement. In this interview with KQED, Pope shares her suggestions for raising resilient, ethical, and motivated learners.

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EdSurge Research Publishes Report on How Schools Are Adapting To Reach All Learners

Schools across the country are making changes—big and small—to move the needle for students. To better understand the landscape of change, the EdSurge Research Team sought out stories rooted in implementation and anchored in authentic experiences with real students. Along with a report, EdSurge has published a plethora of stories and interviews that explore how practitioners are addressing students’ needs and circumstances in order to empower all learners to flourish.

Read More >


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This Month in SEL [July 2019]

A curation of the top SEL headlines, research & insights.

This month in SEL: Common Sense Education releases a new Social & Emotional Learning Toolkit for Educators, Democrats approve millions in landmark federal funding for SEL, Panorama Education on the links between chronic absenteeism and SEL, how technology is helping to transition social-emotional learing out of its silo, and more!

Thank you for reading This Month in SEL. This newsletter is free, so feel free to share it. If you want to receive our monthly e-newsletter version of this, click here to subscribe.


Democrats Approve Millions in Federal Funding for SEL in Bill

In what’s been described as a landmark investment from the federal government in social-emotional learning, the House of Representatives approved a spending bill last month that included $260 million in funding for what it calls “whole child” initiatives within the Department of Education. The bill now faces a big test in the Senate.

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Unpacking the Connections Between SEL and Attendance [VIDEO]

Attendance is a critical metric for schools to focus their attention. More than one in seven students are chronically absent from school, and recent data show that absenteeism is on the rise.

In this short video, Dr. Tara Chiatovich — data scientist at Panorama Education — presents the connections between attendance and social-emotional learning and discusses potential steps to improve attendance.

Watch The Video >


Common Sense Media Releases a New Educator Toolkit for Social & Emotional Learning

From edtech tools that inspire SEL to digital citizenship curriculum ideas to SEL tools for families, this new set of resources includes a plethora of options for educators and parents to learn more about character strengths and introduce actionable activities with their children. The Toolkit also includes classroom-ready resources within six character-strength-based categories (e.g., curosity, humility & gratitude, emapthy & compassion), including apps, games and websites that can promote SEL and inspire positivity.

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How Ed-Tech Tools Are Advancing the Implementation of SEL in Classrooms

“The industry now realizes that technology, of course, can be a bridge, helping students and teachers to connect. It can even help us to connect with ourselves. It’s no longer the case that tech is competing with humans to build these skills, but rather is complementing our efforts. The question for edtech developers has become: How does SEL look when it’s built into technology as one of the core values in the design cycle of product development, with the user experience as top priority?”

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