What’s the Context?
In a recent 2016 survey by Phi Delta Kappa, a professional educators’ association, fewer than half of Americans (45%) view the main goal of public education as simply preparing students academically. The others believe education should prepare students for work (25%) and prepare children to be good citizens (26%). Research indicates that Social and Emotional Learning is the missing link that ties all of these objectives together.
Why SEL? Why Now?
- IT’S A SIMPLE FACT: Long-term studies corroborate what we intuitively know to be true – 13-19 years later, children with prosocial skills early in life attain higher levels of success in school and life: higher levels of education, more likely to be employed and less likely to be involved with criminal activity or arrested later in life. 2
- IT'S GOT BROAD SUPPORT ALREADY: An overwhelming 97% of American public school teachers believe SEL can be taught and will benefit students of all ages, rich or poor. 3
- THE DEMAND IS MOBILIZED NOW: 150 school districts representing 6.6 million (approximately 20%) of American public school students nationwide want to engage with CASEL to implement SEL as soon as possible. This requires additional capital to deploy.
- WE HAVE BULLETPROOF EVIDENCE: Over 20 years of academically rigorous research conclusively proves SEL works in the short and long term. 4
- IT’S PROGRAMMATICALLY DOABLE & COST EFFECTIVE: There’s an $11 economic return for every $1 invested in SEL. 5
- AND WE’VE DONE IT BEFORE: CASEL has been working with 8 innovator districts representing 1 million students over the past five years to implement quality evidence based, systemic SEL. Independent evaluations prove it’s working. With the lessons learned from these pilots, we’ve developed a replicable Theory of Action to implement systemic, high quality evidence-based SEL with 10 key district milestones and 6 key school SEL milestones to ensure success. Additionally, CASEL’s in-depth financial sustainability models, based on case studies from existing district models, is an online resource that helps new districts plan for and prepare informed budgets for implementing SEL based on their own unique district characteristics. 6
What Are the Direct Benefits of SEL?
When high quality, systemic evidence-based Social and Emotional strategies are implemented in schools, children, teachers, administrators and the entire school community and beyond benefits.
- Higher scores on academic achievement tests.
- Reduced problem behavior and reduced suspensions.
- Improved school climate and supportive instruction.
- Improved school attendance.
- Improved social and emotional competence.
- Improved graduation rates.
- Improved GPA.