SEL Research Round-Up: The Best of 2022
Explore insights from some of the most influential research published in 2022.
As we approach the end of 2022 and many of us begin to reflect on the past 365 days, it is equal parts impressive, encouraging, and staggering to think about how much the world of social and emotional learning has progressed in the past year—let alone the last several years.
One aspect of the field that experienced notable growth this year was research on the shifting landscape of SEL in K-12, particularly regarding new insights for practitioners. A quick search on Google Scholar for publications with “social-emotional learning” cited as a keyword indicates that over 4,500 studies were published in 2022.
To help unpack some of the most influential publications from the past year, the editorial team at Inside SEL curated a list of ten impactful studies and reports that – in our view – represent the “best of” 2022 in the research world. Continue reading to learn more about new findings in the field of SEL and a few emerging trends to keep an eye out for in 2023.
Building upon a seminal report from 2020 that focused on efforts to holistically support both social and emotional needs and academic learning for students, The Education Trust and CASEL partnered to create a scan of state policies across domains that support equitable social, emotional, and academic development.
These scans (based on publicly available information as of 2021, including state education websites, published materials by states, and legislation) examine state policies regarding:
Rigorous & Culturally Sustaining Curriculum
Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Two states – Massachusetts and Minnesota – were highlighted as most supportive in terms of promising SEAD practices.
This report from the Wallace Foundation presents cross-cutting lessons from a set of case studies exploring how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs can work together to build students’ social and emotional learning skills.
The analysis of these case studies reveals nine factors that facilitated progress in carrying out SEL programs and practices:
Committed school/OST program leaders were the foundation on which SEL work was built.
SEL committees guided and supported implementation.
Prioritizing time for SEL in school and OST schedules was important to making implementation routine.
Starting the efforts by building adults’ social and emotional skills proved central.
Short SEL rituals were often the first and most widely adopted strategy, setting the stage for more extended SEL instruction.
Establishing trusting relationships enhanced the collaboration on SEL in school-OST program partnerships.
Formal, written SEL resources facilitated a consistent approach within and across settings.
Distributing “ownership” of SEL across staff members and students increased people’s buy-in to the effort and its sustainability.
Experience with SEL before the pandemic helped schools and OST programs adapt to COVID-19 disruptions.
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