The purpose of this presentation and the related research study associated with it is to understand the range of terms currently being used for social and emotional learning. It includes an analysis of what motivates K-12 educators and after-school personnel to be interested in this topic as well as strategies for helping the field develop a common vocabulary related to SEL.

The study and power point also synthesize where SEL fits in context with other competing priorities. It can help practitioners understand how key audiences think about SEL and its connections to their work. Finally, conclusions presented align with the overall work of the Wallace Foundation and its partners as well as community stakeholder groups.

Five key conclusions are presented: (1) The term “social and emotional learning” appears to have universal recognition and practical application; (2) Other terms associated with SEL (e.g. 21st century skills, Whole Child Development) were deemed too generic or associated with negative connotations; (3) It is important that educators emphasize the relationship between SEL and student development of academic competencies; (4) It is essential to align initiatives, including showing connections with adult learning, children realizing their potential, and reducing the opportunity gap; and (5) Training and professional development are essential for SEL sustainability, just as parent and community involvement is key.

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