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Evidence for Social and Emotional Learning in Schools

Year: 2023

There is a consensus among educators, parents, and policymakers that education should focus on supporting essential capacities to help children navigate the world successfully. This broad notion of educating the “whole child” generally includes at least the abilities to (1) develop healthy personal relationships, (2) treat others with respect and dignity, (3) develop the cognitive capacity to solve problems and think creatively, (4) succeed in postsecondary education and the labor market, and (5) be a contributing citizen in a democracy. To nurture these capacities, schools should be healthy, caring spaces that create a climate of support for equitable pathways for children to reach these goals while also creating a challenging and dynamic learning environment. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical for the development of these capacities.